Imola, FP3: Verstappen quickest in final practice for Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
Norris 2nd, Hamilton 3rd
Max Verstappen set the fastest lap of final practice for tomorrow’s FIA Formula 1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, beating McLaren’s Lando Norris by almost half a second as defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton finished third.
The session got off to the slow start, with just Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen and the Haas cars of mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin circling. In a signal of what was to become a regular feature of the session, all three quickly fell foul of track limits monitoring at Turn 9 and had their laps deleted.
After they had recovered and posted times, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc then made his way to P1 on his first flying lap with a time of 1:17.321. He improved again but then was eclipsed by Red Bull’s Sergiuo Pérez who set a new benchmark at 1:16.332.
The session was briefly red-flagged when Nicholas Latifi spun off at the Villeneuve chicane and clipped the wall. The Canadian was able to continue, however, and after he limped back to the pits for repairs the action quickly resumed.
Latifi’s crash had derailed Verstappen’s first run of the morning and when the green light was given the Dutchman was straight back on track. He took P1 with his first flying lap but that was soon deleted for a track limits infringement and he dropped to the foot of the timesheet.
Bottas took top spot with a lap of 1:15.984 but Verstappen, after a messy second attempt, then got it right at the third time of asking with a new fastest lap of 1:15.895.
It wasn’t good enough to remain the standard, however, and Pierre Gasly powered past the time before Leclerc bolted on a set of soft tyres and rose to P1 with a lap of 1:15.738.
He was then demoted by Hamilton on softs, before Norris moved into the lead with the lap of 1:15.414. Verstappen was winding up for another attempt on red rubber, however, and after setting fastest times in the final two sectors he took P1 with a lap of 1:14.958, 0.456 ahead of Norris.
With Hamilton third behind Norris, fourth place went to Sergio Peerez in the second Red Bull, with Leclerc fifth for Ferrari. Gasly took an impressive for AlphaTauri, while Sainz finished seventh in the other Ferrari. Bottas, who made a mistake on one run, finished in eighth ahead of the Alpine pairing of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.
|01||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Honda RB16B||1:14.958||18|
|02||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL35M||1:15.414||17|
|03||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W12||1:15.515||18|
|04||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull Honda RB16B||1:15.551||18|
|05||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari SF21||1:15.738||21|
|06||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda AT02||1:15.890||22|
|07||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari SF21||1:15.908||21|
|08||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes W12||1:15.908||19|
|09||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A521||1:16.186||20|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A521||1:16.228||20|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda AT02||1:16.230||20|
|12||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21||1:16.245||19|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes MCL35M||1:16.253||17|
|14||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21||1:16.389||19|
|15||George Russell||Williams Mercedes FW43B||1:16.427||20|
|16||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-21||1:16.448||22|
|17||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW43B||1:16.537||15|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41||1:16.612||22|
|19||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41||1:16.803||23|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari VF-21||1:17.398||23|