Verstappen edges Hamilton in final practice

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen set the best time of the weekend to end up fastest in the third and final practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix. The Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz delivered another promising performance to finish in P3 and P4 respectively.

The first minutes of the session went by without a single car rolling out on to the Barcelona track. When the track action got under way, drivers were divided in terms of the tyre compounds on their first run.

Mercedes quickly laid down the benchmark on the red-walled soft compound with Lewis Hamilton edging his team mate Valtteri Bottas. Max Verstappen was unable to keep up with the initial pace of the Mercedes cars, but he finally managed to register a promising lap time following his struggles in yesterday’s afternoon’s session.

Ferrari’s two drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were the first to head out on to the 4.675km Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on the second set of fresh tyres. Continuing to impress with their pace, both of them set quick lap time with the Monegasque ending up third and the home hero fourth fastest at the end of the session.

Bottas was unable to improve his previous best lap time, and his team mate found it also difficult to go quicker than his own benchmark. However, Hamilton went for a second hot lap after a cool-down tour around the Barcelona circuit and improved the benchmark to 1m18.070.

Joining the qualifying simulations’ party a bit out of synch, Verstappen nailed his first flying lap on his second set of fresh red-walled tyres, registering the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1m17.835. In contrast to the Dutchman’s pace, his team mate Sergio Perez was unable to pick up the pace and ended up tenth fastest.

The biggest loser was the Alpine Team which only finished eleventh and thirteenth fastest with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon. McLaren and Alfa Romeo delivered the biggest lift in form with Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Räikkönen all finishing in the top nine.

Using the closing stages of the session, Ferrari was the only team to perform multipe practice starts. Thereafter, Leclerc and Sainz used the last minutes to carry out race run simulation.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
133Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:17.835-11
244Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:18.070+0.235s14
316Charles LeclercFERRARI1:18.308+0.473s17
455Carlos SainzFERRARI1:18.410+0.575s18
577Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:18.423+0.588s15
64Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:18.494+0.659s14
710Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA1:18.535+0.700s17
83Daniel RicciardoMCLAREN MERCEDES1:18.582+0.747s21
97Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:18.597+0.762s18
1011Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA1:18.606+0.771s16
1114Fernando AlonsoALPINE RENAULT1:18.662+0.827s18
1222Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA1:18.673+0.838s21
1331Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:18.700+0.865s15
1418Lance StrollASTON MARTIN MERCEDES1:18.877+1.042s18
1563George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:19.005+1.170s17
1699Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:19.214+1.379s19
175Sebastian VettelASTON MARTIN MERCEDES1:19.363+1.528s18
186Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:19.392+1.557s16
1947Mick SchumacherHAAS FERRARI1:19.999+2.164s17
209Nikita MazepinHAAS FERRARI1:20.237+2.402s15