FP3: Verstappen leads Perez and Hamilton in rain-affected final practice session in Barcelona
Max Verstappen made it a clean sweep of practice sessions in Barcelona, with the Red Bull driver setting the fastest time during a rain-hampered FP3, ahead of team mate Sergio Perez and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in preparation for qualifying later today.
With the threat of rain hanging over the session, all 20 drivers made their way out onto the track, as they looked to get as much running done in the drier conditions, with Verstappen setting the early pace ahead of Perez and Hamilton.
However, as the lap times began to pour in, the session was red flagged after Williams’ Logan Sargeant lost the car on the entry into the final corner, running through the gravel, before ending up in the barrier.
Upon the session being resumed, the rain began to fall, with all 20 drivers opting to wait in the garage, before Lando Norris made his way out onto track on the intermediates, followed later by the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.
FORMULA 1 AWS GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2023
Practice 3 results
|1 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||1:13.664|
|2 Sergio Perez PER Red Bull Racing||+0.250s|
|3 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes||+0.408s|
|4 Carlos Sainz SAI Ferrari||+0.576s|
|5 Fernando Alonso ALO Aston Martin||+0.600s|
With conditions too wet to improve lap times, Verstappen’s early time of a 1m 13.664s saw him lead Perez by 0.250s, with Hamilton remaining in third, just over four-tenths off the Dutch driver – in what was a much-improved showing from Mercedes.
Home favourite Carlos Sainz was fourth fastest, ahead of his compatriot Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin, Mercedes’ George Russell, and his Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc, in seventh.
Valtteri Bottas was eighth fastest for Alfa Romeo, ahead of AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda in ninth, with Lando Norris rounding out the top-10 for McLaren.
The other Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu was 11th on the timesheet, ahead of the AlphaTauri of Nyck de Vries in 12th, with Lance Stroll – who briefly ran through the gravel after wide at Turn 5 in the wet conditions – down in 13th for Aston Martin.
Haas' Nico Hulkenberg – who was third in FP2 on Friday – was 14th fastest, ahead of McLaren’s rookie driver Oscar Piastri, in 15th, with Esteban Ocon down in 16th – although he and his Alpine team mate Pierre Gasly set their fastest times on the mediums compared to the rest of the grid on the softs.
Kevin Magnussen was 17th for Haas, ahead of Gasly – who ran through the gravel in the wet conditions at Turn 6 – in 18th, with the Williams duo of Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant down at the bottom of the field.
Join us again at 1600 local time for what is sure to be an exciting qualifying battle ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.