Photo: FIA

Verstappen on Top Again in Wet Final Practice for Turkish GP


Max Verstappen made it three for three as he followed domination of Friday’s two practice session with the quickest time in final practice for tomorrow’s Turkish Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver set a best time of 1:48.485 as often heaby rain made conditions difficult at the Istanbul Park circuit.

The session began with steady drizzle falling across the track prompting the drivers to head out on intermediate tires to test the conditions. Ferrari’s Charles Leclear set the pace in the opening minutes with a lap of 1:50.916 but his time was soon bypassed by first Alex Albon, who went almost six tenths quicker, and then by the Thai driver’s Red Bull team-mate who set his best time of the session in the opening 15 minutes. Leclerc and Albon improved again, but it was the Ferrari driver that took an eventual P2 with a lap of 1:49.430 as Albon posted a time of 1:50.059.

It was a period in which a number of drivers had spins and off-track moments, the most notable being when Lerclerc clipped the rear of Esteban Ocon’s Renault as the French driver appeared momentarily distracted by Carlos Sainz going off track just ahead in Turn 12. All three were able to carry on without damage.

Sainz reported that the conditions were no longer driveable on intermediate tires and soon after the field began to switch to the blue-banded full wet tires.

The Spaniard then suffered another nervous moment soon after the halfway mark as he put the power down on the run up the hill through Turn 2. He spun and almost slid into the wall but managed to use the run-off area to regain control.

The same could not be said for Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi. After a lull following Sainz’s incident, Giovinazzi, team-mate Kimi Räikkönen and the AlphaTauri driver went out to test the conditions.

However, the Italian slid off at the same point as Sainz and the Alfa driver made slight contact with the barriers, damaging his right front-wing endplate. He was able to keep going but then slid off again late in the lap on his way back to the pits.

Mercedes also sent its two cars out in the closing minutes but they quickly returned to the pits before the checkered flag fell.

2020 FIA Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:48.485 6 177.137
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:49.430 0.945 9 175.608
3 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 1:50.059 1.574 5 174.604
4 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:53.897 5.412 9 168.720
5 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1:53.995 5.510 7 168.575
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:54.490 6.005 14 167.846
7 Sergio Pérez Racing Point/Mercedes 1:55.577 7.092 6 166.268
8 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:55.666 7.181 4 166.140
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:55.878 7.393 4 165.836
10 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1:56.824 8.339 5 164.493
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:58.475 9.990 6 162.201
12 Carlos Sainz McLaren/Renault 1:59.548 11.063 7 160.745
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 2’02.325 13.840 10 157.096
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 2’02.473 13.988 7 156.906
15 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 2’04.748 16.263 5 154.044
16 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 2’06.351 17.866 13 152.090
17 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri/Honda 2’09.368 20.883 8 148.543
18 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1
20 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 3

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