FP3 summary: Hamilton completes practice triple as Latifi causes red flag

04-07-2020 12:02 | Updated: 04-07-2020 13:49
by Matt Gretton
General
FP3 summary: Hamilton completes practice triple as Latifi causes red flag

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes completed the practice triple, with Valtteri Bottas coming 2nd again. That's the last time the drivers will explore the track before qualifying at 2:00 PM this afternoon.

Hamilton and Bottas have now recorded three one-twos ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix. Unlike last year, the two Mercedes drivers are looking strong around the Red Bull Ring. 

During this final practice session, both Red Bull and Ferrari put together stronger performances. Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc both topped the timesheets for a short time in the session. 

Renault also had a positive session, while Racing Point and McLaren also look strong for the best of the rest positions.

Despite Nicholas Latifi's crash, Williams look much improved over the break. George Russell reached as high as P16 in the late stages, potentially being able to challenge for a Q2 spot this afternoon. 

How it happened 

Lando Norris was the first to go out enthusiastically for an installation round followed by Kevin Magnussen's Haas. The AlphaTauris also went out early. The first time was set by Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard opened with a 1:06.307.

Sainz was the only driver on the track for a long time. The front wing of the McLaren seemed to have some damage, but Sainz didn't immediately choose to go back to the pits.

After 15 minutes, more teams started to venture out on the track. Of the drivers on the track, Sebastian Vettel was the fastest after twenty minutes.

Latifi's crash

Nicholas Latifi is the first man of the season to crash during a race weekend. The only rookie in the 2020 F1 season, brings out the first red flag. The Williams driver parked his car in the wall at the exit of the first corner. Everything seems to be going well with Latifi himself.

After a short break, the drivers return to the track. The Ferraris seem to have found much more speed, unlike FP1 and FP2. With fifteen minutes left, Leclerc and Vettel were in third and fourth place. However, they were more than half a second behind the fastest Mercedes.

Verstappen with a new wing

With just over ten minutes on the clock, Max Verstappen starts to up the pace and ends up in third place with a 1.04,413 with his new front wing. Just under three tenths behind Lewis Hamilton who has the fastest time.

Hamilton ended the free practice as fastest with a 1:04.130. His teammate Bottas is right behind him in terms of time. It was only 0.147 seconds slower. Verstappen closes in a neat third place and Sergio Perez is in fourth place. The Ferraris finish in fifth and seventh place.

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