Portugal, FP3: Bottas makes it a clean sweep in practice for Portuguese GP

Hamilton 2nd, Verstappen 3rd

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By Olivier Ferret

24 October 2020 - 13:05
Portugal, FP3: Bottas makes it a (...)

Valtteri Bottas went quickest in final practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix, edging Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by just under three hundredths of a second. The Finnish driver’s effort completed a hat-trick of fastest practice times at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.

Mercedes’ drivers concentrated on running Pirelli’s red-banded soft tyres and across the session they traded quickest times before Bottas upped his pace with a little over 20 minutes left in the session and set a new target of 1:16.654. Hamilton might have gone quicker but the championship leader lost control of his Mercedes in Turn 8 and briefly went off track.

And as the session then gave way to longer runs on soft tyres, Bottas’ time remained the benchmark until the end of running.

Third place on the timesheet went to Max Verstappen. The Red Bull driver finished the hour just 0.158s behind the Bottas, but unlike the Mercedes pair the Dutchman set his best lap on the medium compound tyre.

Behind the top three, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly bounced back from the car fire that ended his Friday running early in the second practice session by claiming fourth place with a lap of 1:16.930, just 0.276 off Bottas’ P1 time.

Alexander Albon took fifth in the second Red Bull car, two tenths off team-mate Verstappen, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished sixth ahead of the McLaren’s Carlos Sainz, Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez and the second McLaren of Lando Norris. The top 10 order was completed by Renault’s Esteban Ocon.

In the other Ferrari Sebastian Vettel, who finished in P11, reported a loose drain cover in Turn 14 cover in the final minutes of the session and the session was soon red-flagged. With little time left on the clock the decision was taken not to re-start the session.

Pos.DriverCarTimeLaps
01 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W11 1:16.654 27
02 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W11 1:16.680 23
03 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16 1:16.812 21
04 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT01 1:16.930 24
05 Alex Albon Red Bull Honda RB16 1:17.117 25
06 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF1000 1:17.229 20
07 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL35 1:17.238 24
08 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:17.297 17
09 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL35 1:17.478 22
10 Esteban Ocon Renault RS20 1:17.666 20
11 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF1000 1:17.685 24
12 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda AT01 1:17.720 29
13 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 1:17.922 20
14 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS20 1:17.935 13
15 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43 1:18.032 20
16 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:18.100 17
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 1:18.201 20
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:18.287 13
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43 1:18.397 20
20 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:18.454 19

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