REPORT: Max Verstappen fastest in wet weather conditions in FP3

28-08-2021 12:04
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REPORT: Max Verstappen fastest in wet weather conditions in FP3

Wet weather was the key affecter in FP3 today, Max Verstappen took advantage, as some teams struggled, and was the fastest in the hour-long session. The Dutchman finished with a lap time of 1:56.924, with Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton following behind in second and third respectively.

Red Bull one-two, Bottas struggles

Verstappen and Perez were able to find the desired pace needed to make their way to the top of the timings charts. The Red Bull duo finished 0.947 seconds apart, however. This does put the team in good stead ahead of qualifying though, as it is expected that more rain will pour down at the Belgium circuit, as was happening for most of FP3. Hamilton was able to compete with the Red Bulls and lead the session at multiple points. Finishing only 0.125 seconds off Perez and 1.072 seconds off Verstappen will leave Hamilton feeling positive ahead of qualifying this afternoon. Valtteri Bottas, on the other hand, struggled all session and has not had the best of starts to his birthday. The 32-year-old finished in P11, 2.884 seconds down on Verstappen. He also has a five-place grid penalty for causing the crash in Hungary, which will be enforced in qualifying, so will need to find a large amount of time to get a strong starting position.

Ferrari not in top 10, tight midfield battle

This was a session to forget for Ferrari, as the Italian giants finished outside the top 10. Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finished in P14 and P16 respectively and were never in the top 10 at any part of the session. Sainz finished 3.825 seconds off the leader, whilst Leclerc was an extra 0.621 seconds slower. McLaren's Lando Norris had a superb FP3, finishing best of the rest in P4 but caused a scare at the end of the session when he attempted a lap of slick tyres, but it was to no prevail. The rest of the top 10 was concluded with the Alpine duo of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso in P5 and P10, the Aston Martin duo of Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel in P6 and P8 and Pierre Gasly in P8. Daniel Ricciardo had a quiet session, finishing in P13, 3.532 seconds off Verstappen.

Strong session for Williams

Williams will have confidence going into qualifying today after a strong session from both George Russell and Nicholas Latifi. Russell finished inside the top 10, in ninth place, 2.568 seconds behind Verstappen but was extremely close to a large number of the midfield teams. Latifi finished three places below his teammate in 12th and was only 0.489 seconds behind the Brit. Haas' rookie duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin finished in P15 and P19 respectively, with Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi and  Kimi Raikkonen in P18 and P20.

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