FP3: Bottas fastest again in Tuscan GP final practice

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Tuscany Ferrari 1000, Autodromo Internazionale di Mugelloit

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas completed a practice clean-sweep at the Tuscan Grand Prix after he set the pace once again in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at Mugello.

After drivers had their first taste of the magnificent Ferrari-owned Mugello circuit, they were pretty hesitant to begin their preparation for qualifying in the final practice session. After dominating the Friday’s sessions, Valtteri Bottas was the first driver to complete a hot lap, posting a time of 1m17.437 on the soft compound.

The Finn completed a short 3-lap run which was followed by a ten-minute long pause. The reason for the slow start to the session was that drivers found out yesterday that the abrasive surface and the high-speed nature of the Mugello circuit means that they can only complete one or two hot laps on the red-walled tyres before they lose a significant amount of grip.

Following an installation lap, George Russell was forced to head back to Williams garage due brake problems. The Grove-based team that has just been purchased by the American firm Dorilton Capital was unable to repair the FW43, forcing Russell to spend the vital final practice at the garage.

While the Mercedes duo used the C3 compound on their first run, Max Verstappen chose the medium C2 rubber for his initial stint. The Dutchman managed to surpass the Mercedes drivers, posting a 1m17.116.

On the second set of fresh tyres, Bottas registered a time of 1m16.530 that was four tenths of a second faster than his time from yesterday. Hamilton was faster than his teammate in the first sector, but was not able to keep up with the Finn in the following two sectors and ended up third fastest, 0.083 seconds behind Bottas.

Ferrari drivers continued to struggle for pace in the first two sectors. Charles Leclerc finished seventh fastest while his teammate Sebastian Vettel ended up down in the 18th spot with seven tenths of a second separating Scuderia’s two drivers.

Racing Point was strong again with Lance Stroll impressing particularly. The Canadian was fast on the medium compound during his first run and managed to maintain his promising pace when he switched to the softs. He ended up fourth fastest, just over half a second off the pace.

The Red Bull duo was among the last drivers to head out on to the track on the second fresh set of tyres. Following his impressive showing on the medium boots, Verstappen found his car harder to driver on the soft, suffering from balance issues in the medium-speed corners. In the end, he posted a 1m16.547 that was enough to secure the second spot on the leaderboard.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:16.53017
233Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:16.547+0.017s10
344Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:16.613+0.083s14
418Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:17.112+0.582s10
510Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA1:17.226+0.696s14
611Sergio PerezRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:17.341+0.811s14
716Charles LeclercFERRARI1:17.488+0.958s15
823Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA1:17.538+1.008s11
926Daniil KvyatALPHATAURI HONDA1:17.627+1.097s17
108Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI1:17.635+1.105s19
1131Esteban OconRENAULT1:17.746+1.216s13
1255Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT1:17.768+1.238s19
1399Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:17.812+1.282s15
147Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:17.843+1.313s17
1520Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:18.039+1.509s17
166Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:18.072+1.542s16
173Daniel RicciardoRENAULT1:18.142+1.612s12
185Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:18.186+1.656s15
194Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT1:18.826+2.296s19
2063George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES1