FP3: Verstappen heads Red Bull one-two in rain affected final practice

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

After topping Friday's two practice sessions, double world champion Max Verstappen headed a Red Bull one-two in the third and final practice at the Spanish Grand Prix, posting the fastest lap of the weekend before the rain interrupted the action. F1Technical's Balázs Szabó reports on Free Practice 3 from the Barcelona-Catalunya track.

With only half an hour ahead of the session, clouds started to gather over the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, prompting teams to get ready for the start of the final practice.

When the lights switched to green, drivers were in a real rush to head out on to the track to make use of the dry conditions. It proved crucial as rain started to fall just ten minutes into the session.

Max Verstappen demonstrated his speed around the Barcelona track, setting the best time of the weekend with a 1m13.664s to head his teammate Sergio Perez.

Following a difficult Friday that saw Mercedes struggle for stability in the final sector, the team has made crucial setup changes to their heavily upgraded W14. The modifications seemed to have put the car into a better working window with Lewis Hamilton setting the third quickest lap only over a tenth of a second slower than Perez. His teammate George Russell had to settle for P6.

Ferrari drivers headed out on mediums at the start of the session, and both had to come in for the red-walled softs. Carlos Sainz was the faster Ferrari driver, ending up fourth quickest half a second adrift of Verstappen's benchmark. His team mate Charles Leclerc posted a 1m14.353s to end up seventh fastest.

With the rain and a red flag period caused by Logan Sargeant interrupting the running, drivers spent the middle part of the session in the pit.

However, when there was enough water on the track to use the intermediate tyres, Ferrari drivers headed out to get a view in the tricky conditions. The majority of the field racked up a series of laps on the green-sided tyres to get accustomed to the conditions should more rain arrive for the crucial qualifying session.

With the rain intensity decreasing for the dying minutes of the session, several drivers decided to switch back to the soft slick tyres with Charles Leclerc appearing to be the fastest, going only two seconds slower than what Verstappen was able to do in completely dry conditions.


11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:13.66413
211Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:13.914+0.250s13
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:14.072+0.408s9
455Carlos SainzFerrari1:14.240+0.576s19
514Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:14.264+0.600s13
663George RussellMercedes1:14.278+0.614s15
716Charles LeclercFerrari1:14.353+0.689s17
877Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:14.360+0.696s14
922Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:14.659+0.995s15
104Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:14.681+1.017s19
1124Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:14.681+1.017s14
1221Nyck De VriesAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:14.693+1.029s17
1318Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:14.756+1.092s14
1427Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:14.988+1.324s11
1581Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:15.105+1.441s16
1631Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:15.266+1.602s14
1720Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:15.534+1.870s11
1810Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:15.841+2.177s13
1923Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:15.851+2.187s13
202Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:16.529+2.865s5