Photo: FIA

Hamilton on Top in Final Practice for Belgian GP


Lewis Hamilton took top spot in the final practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix, with the championship leader finishing two tenths of a second ahead of Renault’s Esteban Ocon. Lando Norris was third for McLaren.

With light drizzle dampening the track there was little running in the opening portion of the hour, with just Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean testing the conditions as they attempted to make up for time lost yesterday due to engine issues with their cars.

When they returned to the pit lane a long lull followed as light rain continued to at several points around the 7km circuit.

The action resumed after the half way point had been reached with Norris and Albon initially leading the way on yellow tyres. Hamilton then took P1 with a lap of 1m44.422 set on softs, before the at was eclipsed by Bottas who posted a time of 1m43.813s. Verstappen then split the Mercedes duo with his first lap of the morning, alson on soft compound tyres.

The field then returned to the pit lane ahead of the qualifying but when they did take to the track the results were inconclusive as errors and traffic upset the order.

Ocon set the standard with a lap of 1:43.485s but Hamilton then edged ahead with his best time of 1:43.255. Bottas and Verstappen failed to improve in the final runs, with the Mercedes drivers sliding wide on the exit of La Source and Verstappen caught in a train of slow cars as driver backed each other up on the run to the Bus Stop chicane as they looked for clear air ahead of flying laps.

Norris took third place with a lap of 1:43.641, while Albon finished a little under a tenth of second further back in fourth. Bottas ended the session in fifth place ahead of Verstappen and the second Renault of Daniel Ricciardo. Eighth place went to Racing Point’s Lance Stroll who finished ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and the second Racing Point of Sergio Perez.

It was another disappointing outing for Ferrari, however. Charles Leclerc finished in  17th place, 1.8s behind Hamilton, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel finished in last place.

2020 FIA Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:43.255 9 244.195
2 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:43.485 0.230 9 243.652
3 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1:43.641 0.386 12 243.285
4 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 1:43.731 0.476 13 243.074
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:43.813 0.558 9 242.882
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:43.896 0.641 10 242.688
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:43.973 0.718 8 242.509
8 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1:43.988 0.733 12 242.474
9 Carlos Sainz McLaren/Renault 1:44.006 0.751 13 242.432
10 Sergio Pérez Racing Point/Mercedes 1:44.180 0.925 12 242.027
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:44.508 1.253 14 241.267
12 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri/Honda 1:44.543 1.288 14 241.186
13 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:44.771 1.516 11 240.662
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:44.841 1.586 10 240.501
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:44.844 1.589 16 240.494
16 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:44.932 1.677 11 240.292
17 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:45.147 1.892 12 239.801
18 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:45.157 1.902 11 239.778
19 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:45.190 1.935 13 239.703
20 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:45.420 2.165 12 239.180

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