Verstappen fastest in FP3 before Ferraris

Verstappen, who will secure his second title this weekend if he wins and takes the fastest lap, is found shy of three-tenths Carlos Sainz And the Charles Leclerc to head the group.

Although there was some surprise that FP1 and FP2 ever took place given the pre-event forecast for a drift, Friday’s wet run had a lasting effect as it set the stage for a frantic start to the final hour of training on Saturday.

With all three dry Pirelli vehicles still under evaluation by the teams, the end of the pit lane was a hive of activity where FP3 started, with FP2 George Russell And Sainz leads the queue of cars.

Again, due to time constraints, only Alfa Romeo The duo chose the fixing rounds where everyone stayed on track to quickly determine the title time before switching to the race periods,

The average shock Russell quickly posted the first try, taking a damage in 1m 37.969 seconds before Sainz on softs cut that to 1m35.491s – with the offset between the C2 and C3 tires expected to be 1.2sec.

Then, apparently for the course during free practice this season, champion-elect Verstappen blew the times away on his first attempt after five minutes.

He pounded the RB18’s soft round at 1 minute 32.050 seconds to sit 1.186 seconds off his teammate Sergio Perez as such McLaren‘s Lando Norris He ran 2.2secs in third but kept tally ahead Daniel Ricciardo.

After launching the inaugural rocket, Sainz headed to Ferrari Eighth while Leclerc was 11th after his first run on the medium tyres, Monaco came out sideways out of Degner’s corner.

The mercedes Meanwhile, the pair were down 14th and 15th as Hamilton outpaced Russell, the seven-time fighting champion due to higher winds.

Alps‘s Fernando Alonso He was, at the time, the fastest driver fitted on solid tires – the two-time champion was going 9th, 0.9secs faster than Hamilton on the same white-walled C1 rubber.

Then came a lull in the middle of the session – noteworthy that Sainz locked out on the track and blamed Leclerc a few meters off the road – with most of them settling into the race laps and losing a few seconds off the pace.

But as the final 30 minutes began, several cars shot at her to top the leaderboard once again, as the Ferraris jumped to first and second on a set of soft, red-walled tyres.

Sainz knocked Verstappen off by about 1.085sec when he sprinted to 1m30.965s and according to the wet run he found a few tenths over Leclerc who upset the timing line in 1m31.388s.

The older Verstappen time was good enough for third behind the red cars, although Alonso improved to fourth, outpacing the Alpine 1.588s but on the slower average compound. stable companion Esteban Ocon A similar act, entering fifth place on the same tire.

Verstappen, who ran out of his stride with the other firsts, later appeared on a set of medium tires and ran impressively in second, just 0.351 seconds behind Sainz with 15 minutes left.

But the Dutch driver still improved on his previous soft effort by about seven tenths.

After another respite with the drivers back in the pits, the final nine minutes brought the arrival of the qualifying simulator as the field changed tack to focus on the glory laps of the soft tires.

Leclerc used his new boots to set the fastest time in the first sector and with his two personal best runs through S2 and S3, he reclaimed second as he ran 0.015 seconds off Sainz’s current time.

Then the Spaniard failed to improve five minutes before the end of the match, and Sainz lost half a tenth each in the second and third sectors compared to his previous indicator.

Verstappen then battled back with purple runs across the board to reclaim pole position courtesy of 1m30.671s, finding three-tenths on Ferraris and 0.8s on Mercedes.

With no late improvements, Verstappen remained top of the tree over the Ferraris as Alonso finished the session in fourth, passing 0.649secs but keeping Perez at arm’s length.

The second Red Bull driver ran to fifth but was 0.843 seconds slower than his teammate as Russell drove the Mercedes duo in sixth to beat Hamilton and Norris.

Meanwhile, Ocon scored 9th المرتبة Lance’s Outing Aston Martin finished 10th in 10th place Alex Albon In the Williams.

Mick Schumacherwho crashed a lap in FP1 to miss FP2 entirely due to a chassis change, followed his Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen home at 16.

Pierre Gaslywho was announced this morning as the Alpine Driver of the Year 2023 and will be replaced at AlphaTauri By Nyck de Vries, complete the order on 20.

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