Styria, FP3: Hamilton quickest in final practice in Styria
Ahead of Verstappen and Bottas
Lewis Hamilton took top spot in final practice for the FIA Formula 1 Styrian Grand Prix, narrowly beating championship leader Max Verstappen by two tenths of a second. Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Pérez.
After heavy overnight rain the session was held in bright, warm sunshine. Despite the conditions the session was slow to get underway however with just the Haas cars of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin circulating in the opening minutes. They were later joined by the Alpines of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon and it was the Spaniard to took P1 after their initial laps thanks to a time of 1:07.031s.
Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen briefly usurped that with a lap of 1:06.778 but his time was deleted and Ocon leapt ahead with a lap of 1:06.839s be3fore Alonso reclaimed top spot with a lap of 1:06.686s. Williams’ George Russell then went quickest thanks to a medium-tyre time of 1:06.454, but then as the session head towards the half-way mark the expected frontrunners began to emerge. Bottas went out on soft tyres and went fastest with a lap of 1:06.212. A second attempt then lowered the benchmark to 1:06.063.
Verstappen then appeared and with his first flying lap he took top spot thanks to a time of 1:05.571. Hamilton soon followed the Dutchman across the line and he took up residence in P2 ahead of Bottas with a lap of 1:05.900. Verstappen extended his run, however, and he lowered the benchmark to 1:04.971 before AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Red Bull driver Sergio Pérez jumped up to second and third respectively ahead of the Mercedes.
Hamilton found more time and reclaimed second place with a lap of 1:05.367, 0.396 behind Verstappen and Bottas emerged again to claim fourth place behind Gasly as the field returned to the pits to prepare for their qualifying simulations.
Bottas was the first to cross the line on new softs and he took P1 with a lap of 1:04.832s, before Hamilton set the session’s best time at a 1:04.369.
Verstappen was one of the last to undertake his quali sim but he did his first attempt left him two tenths of a second behind Hamilton. After a cool down lap he went for another flyer but could only improve 0.003s. His lap, however, was deleted for a track limits infringement at Turn 10.
With Hamilton secure in top spot ahead of Verstappen and Bottas, fourth place was taken by Pérez, with the Mexican was followed by Tsunoda and Gasly, with Charles Leclerc seventh for Ferrari ahead of Alonso. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll was ninth while Sebastian Vettel finished 10th.
|01||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W12||1:04.369||19|
|02||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Honda RB16B||1:04.573||16|
|03||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes W12||1:04.832||25|
|04||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull Honda RB16B||1:05.026||21|
|05||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda AT02||1:05.150||23|
|06||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda AT02||1:05.298||22|
|07||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari SF21||1:05.340||21|
|08||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A521||1:05.400||24|
|09||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21||1:05.445||18|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21||1:05.492||20|
|11||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41||1:05.556||24|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A521||1:05.676||22|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari SF21||1:05.698||22|
|14||George Russell||Williams Mercedes FW43B||1:05.863||23|
|15||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41||1:05.942||25|
|16||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-21||1:05.992||24|
|17||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes MCL35M||1:06.116||20|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW43B||1:06.119||22|
|19||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL35M||1:06.654||19|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari VF-21||1:06.692||22|