Pierre Gasly tops wet FP3 session in Turkey

09-10-2021 11:04 | Updated: 09-10-2021 11:10
F1 News
Pierre Gasly tops wet FP3 session in Turkey

Pierre Gasly pulled off an upset as he finished FP3 as the quickest car of all, with the AlphaTauri driver beating off competition from Max Verstappen and Max Verstappen, who were second and third respectively. Red Bull finally found some grip and speed as Lewis Hamilton decided the risk of running in the wet outweighed the benefit. The seven-time world champion completed just five laps in the entire session, and finished down in 18th place. Despite dominating on Friday, in the wet, Hamilton didn't show the same speed. 

Verstappen nearly went quickest right at the end, but he fell just short of Gasly's time. 

The rain had been falling all morning, and the condittions made life difficult for the drivers.

The rain caused issues for George Russell, who caused a red flag by beaching his Williams car on the exit of turn two. FP3 quickly got back underway, but the Brit, however, was unable to complete more than two lap over the entire hour.

Red Bull were certainly on the back foot on Friday, with Hamilton clearly the quickest car, but overnight, they've managed to find some extra speed. In the wet, the Red Bull appeared to have far more grip than many other cars, with Verstappen and Perez taking turns as the quickest car on track, before Gasly leapfrogged them both.

In the wet, Mercedes didn't look too quick, although Bottas certainly had the edge over his teammate.

With Gasly quickest, followed by Verstappen and Perez, it was a mixed up remaining grid.

Ferrari continued their form, with Carlos Sainz in P4, and Charles Leclerc right behind in P5. Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Yuki Tsunoda, Valtteri Bottas, and Antonio Giovinazzi rounded off the top 10.

As it happened

The rain proved to be a huge barrier to all the drivers, none of whom wanted to risk the elements in case they damaged their car. It took until eight minutes into the session for the first driver to go out onto the track. Pierre Gasly was that man to venture onto the circuit, with his teammate Yuki Tsunoda following him straight out.

The conditions proved tricky as the pair tiptoed around the track for the first few laps of their programme. 

They were joined by Lando Norris, Daniel Ricciardo and several others in no time at all, with Norris in particular looking fast. He, and his former teammate Carlos Sainz, shared duties at the top of the timesheets, alternating who ended their fast lap in P1.

Norris then gambled by being the first driver to ut on the intermediate tyres, with the pit wall keeping a keen eye on his lap times. He managed to go half a second quicker than Sainz in the first sector, but slowed down on the rest of the lap, and was unable to beat the Spaniard.

Pierre Gasly, Nikita Mazepin, and Charles Leclerc all had spins, before George Russell beached his Williams on the exit of turn two. The British driver put a wheel onto the kerb, and he spun his car around, with the gravel trap the only thing stopping him hitting the barrier.

The red flag was brought out, and a small pause in running commenced.

Once action was back underway, the big hitters came into play, with Max Verstappen immediately moving into P1. Valtteri Bottas looked quicker than teammate Lewis Hamilton, before conditions started to improve.

Turn nine still proved a problem as several cars suffered spins there, including Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel.

However, Kimi Raikkonen showed his experience by going P2 at one point before Esteban Ocon briefly went quickest before Bottas beat the Frenchman's time.

Pierre Gasly continue his fine 2021 form by going less than a tenth of a second slower than Verstappen, who was soon leapfrogged by his new teammate Sergio Perez. However, Gasly then went quickest of all, beating both Red Bull's.

That time couldn't be beaten, and the Frenchman pulled off yet another mightily impressive performance.

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