Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas completed Portuguese F1 practice sweep in the third and final practice session ahead of his teammate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's racer Max Verstappen.
Nice and sunny weather welcomed teams and drivers at Portimao when the final practice session kicked off. Although drivers could complete a relatively high number of laps during Friday practices, the red flag period in the second session meant that most of the drivers were deprived of carrying out qualifying simulations on the red soft tyres.
This lack of running on the C3 compound motivated the majority of the field to only use the softest compound available at Portimao in the entire Free Practice 3. Valtteri Bottas was the first to set a time lap in the session, posting the fastest lap of the weekend with a time 1m17.8. His lead did not last long though as his teammate raised the bar by registering an eyebrow-raising time of 1m16.9. The Briton managed to find another three tenths of a second on his next flying lap.
Ferrari continued to make a good impression following a promising Friday. Leclerc managed to set lap times that were good enough for top places before he made a mistake on his seventh lap into the session, spinning at Turn 14 and flat-spotting his front left tyre.
Interestingly, Mercedes did not want to wait long for their second sting on fresh tyres, sending Bottas and Hamilton out on to the track with half an hour remaining. The Finn managed to put a good lap together and flew to the top of the field, posting a time of 1m16.654. His teammate set purple sector times on his hot laps, but was unable to get a lap together, failing to improve his previous best lap time.
Ferrari drivers managed to improve their times, but they also failed to find big improvements. When other drivers also found it hard to set better lap times, it became evident that the track conditions had changed for the worse. Max Verstappen failed to improve his best time that he set on the medium compound with his engineer claiming that the change of the wind direction made the track slower.
Daniel Ricciardo ended up 14th after DRS issues prevented the Renault driver putting in a low-fuel run prior to the session end. Mercedes and Ferrari drivers used the closing stages of the session to carry out high-fuel runs which could give them vital information about the tyre performance in race trim after no one was able to complete race runs during yesterday disrupted FP2 session.
The session was red-flagged with just under a minute to go when a loose drain cover was dislodged by Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari. The session was not restarted, meaning that drivers did not have a chance to carry out practice starts on the starting grid.
|3||33||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:16.812||+0.158s||21|
|4||10||Pierre Gasly||ALPHATAURI HONDA||1:16.930||+0.276s||24|
|5||23||Alexander Albon||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:17.117||+0.463s||25|
|7||55||Carlos Sainz||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:17.238||+0.584s||24|
|8||11||Sergio Perez||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:17.297||+0.643s||17|
|9||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:17.478||+0.824s||22|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||ALPHATAURI HONDA||1:17.720||+1.066s||29|
|13||7||Kimi Räikkönen||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:17.922||+1.268s||20|
|15||63||George Russell||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:18.032||+1.378s||20|
|16||18||Lance Stroll||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:18.100||+1.446s||17|
|17||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:18.201||+1.547s||20|
|18||20||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||1:18.287||+1.633s||13|
|19||6||Nicholas Latifi||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:18.397||+1.743s||20|
|20||8||Romain Grosjean||HAAS FERRARI||1:18.454||+1.800s||19|