FP2: Sainz tops final practice, but Verstappen impresses with tyre management

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Carlos Sainz headed a Ferrari one-two in the final practice for the Austrian Grand Prix after setting a benchmark of 1m08.610s with the help of the drag reduction system. Max Verstappen ended the session third fastest, but he attracted attention with his long run pace. F1Technical's Balázs Szabó reports from the Red Bull paddock.

With the Austrian Grand Prix featuring a sprint weekend format, drivers fully concentrated on the long run performance by conducting long stints in the third practice that took place just hours ahead of the sprint race. The majority of the field used the soft and the medium compound in the final 60-minute practice session with only George Russell sampling the hard compound.

The Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc ended the session on top, but the Spaniard achieved his best lap time of 1m08.610s with the help of DRS after overtaking the Mercedes of George Russell. His team mate Leclerc ended the session in P2 just 50 thousands of a second slower, edging his championship rival Verstappen, who showed eye-catching consistency both on the medium and the soft compound.

The Alpine racers joined the session after a long delay in the garage, but they put in fast laps with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon ending the session fourth and fifth fastest ahead of Sergio Perez.

Mercedes managed to complete the necessary repair job on both George Russell's and Lewis Hamilton's W13, but both of them joined the session later than wished. The 24-year-old Briton took seventh while his team mate set the ninth fastest lap time.

The field behind Hamilton was extremely tight with only four tenths of a second separating the tenth-placed Lando Norris and the 19th fastest Yuki Tsunoda.

The most diligent drivers were Leclerc and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll with the pair completing 42 laps apiece. Hamilton could only register 13 laps as he joined the track with only 14 minutes remaining on the clock following the six-hour repair job and the unexpected checks that Mercedes needed to complete on his power unit.


155Carlos SainzFerrari1:08.61039
216Charles LeclercFerrari1:08.660+0.050s42
31Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:08.778+0.168s31
414Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:08.832+0.222s20
531Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:08.848+0.238s23
611Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:09.179+0.569s36
763George RussellMercedes1:09.240+0.630s32
877Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:09.251+0.641s25
944Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:09.350+0.740s13
104Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:09.519+0.909s37
1118Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:09.525+0.915s42
1210Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Rbpt1:09.579+0.969s36
135Sebastian VettelAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:09.602+0.992s43
1424Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:09.665+1.055s35
1547Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:09.700+1.090s31
1623Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:09.740+1.130s33
173Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:09.852+1.242s33
1820Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:09.960+1.350s33
1922Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Rbpt1:10.005+1.395s38
206Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:10.261+1.651s35