Styria, FP3: Hamilton quickest in final practice in Styria

Ahead of Verstappen and Bottas

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By Olivier Ferret

26 June 2021 - 13:04
Styria, FP3: Hamilton quickest in (...)

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.

Pos.DriverCarTimeLaps
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

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