AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly set the fastest time in the final practice for the Turkish Grand Prix with Red Bull's duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez taking 2nd and 3rd respectively behind the Frenchman.
Following a challenging return to the F1 schedule, the Intercity Istanbul Park circuit offered high grip yesterday which drivers could exploit in the first two practice sessions in sunny conditions. However, the weather has changed for today with a damp surface welcoming the drivers. This was particularly disadvantageous for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who spent his opening day for the Turkish Grand Prix by struggling with the balance of his RB16B.
Drivers first dared to discover the soaked surface on full-wet tyres before switching to the intermediate tyres later on. The resurfaced track yielded much more grip than anticipated, which allowed drivers to push in the tricky conditions. Lap times were very strong from the get-go, and drivers hardly made any mistakes during the session.
In the end, Gasly set the benchmark to go 0.164s ahead of second-place Verstappen, who had a 360-degree spin at the halfway point of the session at Turn 9.
It seems that the pre-weekend simulator work at Milton Keynes helped Sergio Perez cure the issues with his car as the Mexican continued where he left off yesterday. The Guadalajara-born driver ended up third fastest just 0.073s shy of his team mate.
Ferrari usually suffers in rainy conditions, but its driver duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc enjoyed their time on the damp surface this morning. The Spaniard, who is set to start from the back of the grid for taking on his fourth power unit, finished the session in P4 just a place ahead of his team mate.
Mercedes took it easy in the final practice with Valtteri Bottas finishing in P9. Championship leader Lewis Hamilton completed only five laps in the middle part of the session, registering the 18th fastest lap time.
Kimi Räikkönen and Mick Schumacher delivered the two standout performances in the third practice. The Alfa Romeo driver spent the majority of the session in the sharp end of the field before ending up 7th fastest. The Haas racer set a time of 1m32.228s to go 13th fastest just behind Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, who had a spin at Turn 9.
|1||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Honda||1:30.447||19|
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:30.611||+0.164s||11|
|3||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:30.684||+0.237s||13|
|6||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||1:31.545||+1.098s||15|
|7||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:31.572||+1.125s||17|
|8||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Honda||1:31.981||+1.534s||21|
|10||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:32.089||+1.642s||17|
|11||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:32.097||+1.650s||21|
|12||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:32.111||+1.664s||14|
|13||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||1:32.228||+1.781s||23|
|14||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Mclaren Mercedes||1:32.270||+1.823s||18|
|15||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:32.314||+1.867s||18|
|16||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:33.348||+2.901s||11|
|17||9||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari||1:33.425||+2.978s||14|
|19||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:35.681||+5.234s||8|
|20||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||2|