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Verstappen edges Hamilton top top final practie

Verstappen edges Hamilton top top final practie, F1 Daily

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The battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton continued in the third and final practice session with the Dutchman beating the Briton for glory in the last practice ahead of afternoon’s qualifying. Alpine continued to impress with their updated package with Esteban Ocon ending up fifth fastest.

At the beginning of the session, the sky was covered with clouds and temperatures were peaking at only 16 degrees centigrade.
The first drivers to take it to the track were the Haas F1 Team’s juniors with Mick Schumacher posting the first timed lap of the day with a 1m23.026 on Pirelli’s medium compound. Despite a spin, the German improved his time to a 1m21.776.

With 47 minutes left on the clock, the action intensified by more drivers heading out to the 4.6km Algarve circuit. Yuki Tsunoda took over the lead only to lose it to Kimi Räikkönen. The Japanese was then able to register a 1m20.161 on the yellow-banded Pirelli tyre with the early lap times indicating that track conditions including grip level and wind conditions having improved for Saturday.

With 35 minutes, the Michael Masi-led race direction deployed virtual safety car which forced several drivers, including Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen to abort their first real push lap.

After the first runs, Hamilton found himself atop the leaderboard with a time of 1m18.735, followed by Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc who were a tenth and two tenths of a second down on the benchmark respectively. However, Max Verstappen decided to rejoin the track with the same set of softs he used during his first stint. The

With 21 minutes left, drivers started to hit the track with their second fresh set of tyres. The majority of drivers found it difficult to improve their previous lap times with only the Alpine driver Esteban Ocon and Haas junior Mick Schumacher finding significant improvement on their previous best times.

When the chequered flag fell, Verstappen found himself atop with the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Bottas finishing just narrowly behind the Imola race winner. Despite his difficulties on the soft compound on the opening day, Sergio Perez completed a more promising day, ending up fourth fastest with his updated RB16.

Ferrari drivers completed a series of laps on their second compound without losing too much grip, demonstrating the durability of Pirelli’s soft compound and also indicating that the Milan-based tyre supplier applied a slightly conservative approach when deciding for the trio of C1-C3 for this weekend.

McLaren finished only 8th and 12th fastest, but their Imola performance showed that the Woking-based outfit tend to hold their outright performance back in practice. Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen posted eye-catching struggled across the whole length of the session, using the soft compound for both his stints.

Results

Pos. No. Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 1:18.489 21
2 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:18.725 +0.236s 21
3 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:18.820 +0.331s 19
4 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA 1:18.840 +0.351s 24
5 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 1:18.860 +0.371s 19
6 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 1:19.001 +0.512s 23
7 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 1:19.050 +0.561s 24
8 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:19.272 +0.783s 18
9 10 Pierre Gasly Alphatauri HONDA 1:19.374 +0.885s 25
10 7 Kimi Räikkönen ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 1:19.415 +0.926s 25
11 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA 1:19.485 +0.996s 25
12 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:19.582 +1.093s 19
13 99 Antonio Giovinazzi ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 1:19.588 +1.099s 23
14 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 1:19.949 +1.460s 20
15 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 1:20.033 +1.544s 21
16 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 1:20.090 +1.601s 17
17 63 George Russell WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:20.127 +1.638s 18
18 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 1:20.214 +1.725s 21
19 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:20.681 +2.192s 19
20 9 Nikita Mazepin HAAS FERRARI 1:20.690 +2.201s 20


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