Max Verstappen clocked the second time on Saturday in the first and last free practice for the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna.

Lewis Hamilton was a fraction faster than the Dutchman in Imola, Italy.

The 23-year-old Verstappen set his fastest time - just like Mercedes drivers Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas - on the soft tires: 1.15.023.

Hamilton narrowly outpaced the Red Bull Racing driver with 1.14.726 and Bottas finished just behind in third (1.15.218).

The troubled Alexander Albon, who has to fear for his seat at Red Bull after a series of disappointing weekends, was a second slower than teammate Verstappen and clocked only ninth fastest (1.16.061).

With that time, Albon AlphaTauri drivers Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat, Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and Renault drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon had to put up with them.

One free practice for the second time this season

Unlike almost all other races this season, only one training session was scheduled for the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna.

In the Grand Prix of the Eifel at the Nürburgring at the beginning of October, only one session was completed, but that was due to the heavy rain.

The training was important for the teams to gather data, as it is the first time since 2006 that another Formula 1 race will be held at the Imola circuit.

The track was continuously on the calendar between 1981 and 2006 as the Grand Prix of San Marino.

Qualification for the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna starts on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The race starts on Sunday at 1.10 p.m.

Mercedes can then secure the title with the manufacturers.

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the only and final practice for the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna.

(Photo: Pro Shots)

See also: 'Imola is more than just Senna's death place'