Spain, FP3: Verstappen tops rain affected final practice session

Ahead of Perez and Hamilton


By Franck Drui

3 June 2023 - 13:41
Spain, FP3: Verstappen tops rain (...)

Max Verstappen topped the timesheet ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Pérez and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in a final practice that was disrupted by rain.

With the skies darkening over the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in the run-up to the last hour of practice, a long queue formed at the pit exit ahead of the start of the session, and when the green lights went on all 20 drivers quickly made their way out on track in dry conditions.

Verstappen set the early pace with a lap of 1:13.664, 0.250s ahead of Pérez, with Hamilton in P3, four tenths off top spot. Further improvements were not possible, however, as eight minutes into the session the red flags came out when William’s Logan Sargeant crashed.

The American driver went into the final corner too hot and after suffering a snap in mid-corner he went off track. The gravel trap did its job and scrubbed off most of the Williams’ driver’s speed but he still hit the barriers with the left side of his FW45 and the session was halted.

During the nine-minute delay that followed rain began to fall and when the session resumed all drivers opted to stay in their garages to see if conditions improved. McLaren’s Lando Norris ended the lull, taking to the track on intermediate tyres but the conditions worsened and after a nervous moment he returned to the pit lane.

The rain then abated and a number of cars went out but in the tricky conditions there were no improvements and Verstappen took top spot when the chequered flag was shown.

Home hero Carlos Sainz was fourth for Ferrari ahead of compatriot Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin, while Mercedes’ George Russell took sixth place ahead of Charles Leclerc in the other Ferrari.

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.

01 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19 1:13.664 14
02 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19 1:13.914 14
03 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W14 1:14.072 9
04 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF-23 1:14.240 20
05 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23 1:14.264 14
06 George Russell Mercedes W14 1:14.278 16
07 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-23 1:14.353 18
08 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43 1:14.360 15
09 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04 1:14.659 16
10 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL60 1:14.681 20
11 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43 1:14.681 15
12 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04 1:14.693 18
13 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23 1:14.756 14
14 Nico Hülkenberg Haas Ferrari VF-23 1:14.988 12
15 Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes MCL60 1:15.105 17
16 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A523 1:15.266 15
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-23 1:15.534 12
18 Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault A523 1:15.841 14
19 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW45 1:15.851 13
20 Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes FW45 1:16.529 5

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