FP3: Hamilton beats Verstappen in the final Brazilian GP practice

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Brazil, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagosbr

Lewis Hamilton snatched away the first place from Max Verstappen in the final practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix. Friday's pace-setting Ferraris were unable to keep up with the pace on the final qualifying simulation runs.

The top teams all followed slightly different programme in the morning session. Ferrari was the first to take it on to the track on both their runs. The Italians were in a hurry with their setup work since they conducted a race simulation towards the end of the session which is an unusual procedure in the final practices.

While Mercedes opted for a usual approach as far as the timing of their runs were concerned, Red Bull sent their drivers later than normal on to the track.

The Brit and the Dutchman neck on neck

With 15 minutes left on the clock, Hamilton set his fastest lap of 1m 08.320s, usurping the then-leading Charles Leclerc. With his late attempt, Max Verstappen got close to Hamilton’s benchmark and finished the session only 0.026 seconds behind the Briton. Despite his teammate's strong pace, Valtteri Bottas failed to find comfort with his car and set the slowest lap time among the top six drivers.

The midfield once again proved to be an extremely close terrain. The seventh-placed Daniil Kvyat and the eighteenth-placed Lance Stroll were covered by exactly just 897 thousands of a second what forecast a close fight between the six midfield outfits for the qualifying session.

Robert Kubica ended the session in the last position with three tenths of a second behind his teammate George Russell. After his big crash in FP2, it was an important session for the Polish driver as it was practically the first opportunity for him to set lap times. The Krakow-born driver was the most diligent driver of all by covering 23 laps in total.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:08.320-17
233Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:08.346+0.026s18
316Charles LeclercFERRARI1:08.611+0.291s20
45Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:08.664+0.344s22
523Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA1:09.136+0.816s17
677Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:09.201+0.881s20
726Daniil KvyatSCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA1:09.415+1.095s22
899Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:09.462+1.142s20
94Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT1:09.585+1.265s18
1055Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT1:09.588+1.268s21
117Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:09.619+1.299s21
1210Pierre GaslySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA1:09.625+1.305s19
1327Nico HulkenbergRENAULT1:09.650+1.330s17
1420Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:09.713+1.393s18
153Daniel RicciardoRENAULT1:09.761+1.441s17
168Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI1:09.798+1.478s20
1711Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:09.995+1.675s19
1818Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:10.312+1.992s16
1963George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:10.843+2.523s19
2088Robert KubicaWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:11.205+2.885s23