Turkey, FP3: Verstappen on top again in wet final practice

Leclerc 2nd, Albon 3rd


By Olivier Ferret

14 November 2020 - 11:06
Turkey, FP3: Verstappen on top (...)

Max Verstappen made it three for three as he followed domination of Friday’s two practice session with the quickest time in final practice for tomorrow’s Turkish Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver set a best time of 1:48.485 as often heaby rain made conditions difficult at the Istanbul Park circuit.

The session began with steady drizzle falling across the track prompting the drivers to head out on intermediate tyres to test the conditions. Ferrari’s Charles Leclear set the pace in the opening minutes with a lap of 1:50.916 but his time was soon bypassed by first Alex Albon, who went almost six tenths quicker, and then by the Thai driver’s Red Bull team-mate who set his best time of the session in the opening 15 minutes. Leclerc and Albon improved again, but it was the Ferrari driver that took an eventual P2 with a lap of 1:49.430 as Albon posted a time of 1:50.059.

It was a period in which a number of drivers had spins and off-track moments, the most notable being when Lerclerc clipped the rear of Esteban Ocon’s Renault as the French driver appeared momentarily distracted by Carlos Sainz going off track just ahead in Turn 12. All three were able to carry on without damage.

Sainz reported that the conditions were no longer driveable on intermediate tyres and soon after the field began to switch to the blue-banded full wet tyres.

The Spaniard then suffered another nervous moment soon after the halfway mark as he put the power down on the run up the hill through Turn 2. He spun and almost slid into the wall but managed to use the run-off area to regain control.

The same could not be said for Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi. After a lull following Sainz’s incident, Giovinazzi, team-mate Kimi Räikkönen and the AlphaTauri driver went out to test the condtions.

However, the Italian slid off at the same point as Sainz and the Alfa driver made slight contact with the barriers, damaging his right front-wing endplate. He was able to keep going but then slid off again late in the lap on his way back to the pits.

Mercedes also sent its two cars out in the closing minutes but they quickly returned to the pits before the chequered flag fell.

01 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16 1:48.485 6
02 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF1000 1:49.430 9
03 Alex Albon Red Bull Honda RB16 1:50.059 5
04 Esteban Ocon Renault RS20 1:53.897 9
05 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL35 1:53.995 7
06 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF1000 1:54.490 14
07 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:55.977 6
08 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W11 1:55.666 4
09 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:55.878 4
10 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:56.824 5
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS20 1:58.475 6
12 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL35 1:59.548 7
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 2:02.325 10
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT01 2:02.473 7
15 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-20 2:04.748 5
16 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 2:06.351 12
17 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda AT01 2:09.368 8
18 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43 -:—.--- 1
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43 -:—.--- 1
20 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W11 -:—.--- 3

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