F1 – Verstappen beats Hamilton to top spot in final practice in Portugal | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

F1 – Verstappen beats Hamilton to top spot in final practice in Portugal

01.05.21

Red Bull's Max Verstappen went quickest in final practice for tomorrow’s Portuguese Grand Prix, beating championship leader Lewis Hamilton by almost three tenths of a second.

The final hour of practice got off to a slow start, with just Haas drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin setting lap times. But after ten minutes the action began to heat up and Yuki Tsunoda took over at the top of the timesheet with a lap of 1:20.997.

A steady stream of drivers then enjoyed short spells at the top of the order befote the Mercedes and Red Bull cars appeared soon almost a third of the way through the session.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez set the pace initially with a lap of 1:18.840s but was soon bettered, first by Hamilton and then by Verstappen, who led the way at the half way mark with a lap of 1:18.545.

In the final stages Hamilton went for another run but though he improved his time it was still only good enough to narrow the gap from P2 to 0.180.

Then, despite complaining of front-end instability and poor performance in the third sector, Verstappen found more time on the 4.653km track to post a session-fastest time of 1:18.489, 0.236s clear of Hamilton. Valtteri Bottas took third 0.331 off the pace, while Pérez finished fourth.

Esteban Ocon impressed to hand Alpine fifth place in a session that appeared much more difficult for team-mate Fernando Alonso, who finished in 14th place. Sixth and seventh places respectively were taken Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, while Lando Norris was eighth for McLaren ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen.

2021 FIA Formula 1 Portuguese Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:18.489 21 213.415
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.725 0.236 21 212.776
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:18.820 0.331 19 212.519
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda 1:18.840 0.351 25 212.465
5 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:18.860 0.371 19 212.411
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:19.001 0.512 23 212.032
7 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:19.050 0.561 24 211.901
8 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:19.272 0.783 18 211.307
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:19.374 0.885 26 211.036
10 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:19.415 0.926 26 210.927
11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda 1:19.485 0.996 25 210.741
12 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:19.582 1.093 19 210.484
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:19.588 1.099 23 210.468
14 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:19.949 1.460 20 209.518
15 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:20.033 1.544 22 209.298
16 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:20.090 1.601 17 209.149
17 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:20.127 1.638 18 209.053
18 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:20.214 1.725 21 208.826
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:20.681 2.192 19 207.617
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas/Ferrari 1:20.690 2.201 20 207.594