Bottas Quickest in a Wet Final Practice At Paul Ricard

Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes - France
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport‘s Valtteri Bottas set the quickest time in a wet final practice session for the French Grand Prix, with the rain expecting to stay ahead of qualifying.

Bottas was able to set a quick time early in the session before the rain showers arrived at the ten minute point of the session. For majority of the session, no cars took to the wet circuit until the final ten minutes, with only six cars exploring the track on wet tyres.

Renault Sport Formula One Team‘s Carlos Sainz Jr. was second fastest ahead of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team‘s Charles Leclerc, who was one of the six drivers to head out on track in the rain. Fernando Alonso placed his McLaren F1 Team car in fourth place ahead of Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel.

Ahead of the final practice session before qualifying, Mercedes led the way forward with Lewis Hamilton leading all of Friday’s session at Paul Ricard.

Saturday practice got underway with the Alfa Romeo Sauber’s of Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson leading the way as a strong threat of rain started to approach the circuit.

Daniel Ricciardo reported in during his outlap a few drops on his visor, minutes within the session as Leclerc set the first time on the board with a 1:33.666s.

Bottas jumped up to the top of the table, as drivers started to struggle with the track with the rain arriving, and within the ten minutes, thr rain hit the track hard to force the drivers to cruise their way back to the pits, with some making errors off track. Verstappen skipped the chicane after the Mistral straight as he struggled to stop his RB14.

Fifteen minutes in and all the cars were back in, escaping the heavy rain hitting the circuit. No cars headed out on track for 40 minutes until with ten minutes to go, Alonso headed out on track in the rain on a set of wet tyres before coming in after one lap.

Williams Martini Racing‘s Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin followed the Spaniard’s trend of hitting the track and attempting a lap. Stroll went off track at Turn 7 before the Mistral straight but escaped no damage to his FW41.

Leclerc and both Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda‘s of Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly headed out on track with two minutes remaining on the wets to set a wet lap. Leclerc skipped the chicane on his lap in the difficult conditions as the session comes to an end.

In a mainly wet session, it was Valtteri Bottas who set the quickest time from the dry stint at the beginning of the session, ahead of Sainz, Leclerc, Alonso and Vettel as fifteen cars set a lap time in the final session before qualifying.

177Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:33.666
255Carlos Sainz JrRenault Sport Formula One Team1:34.9531.287
316Charles LeclercAlfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team1:35.0121.346
414Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Formula 1 Team1:36.3652.699
55Sebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari1:36.7563.090
62Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Formula 1 Team1:37.5473.881
710Pierre GaslyScuderia Toro Rosso1:38.3174.651
89Marcus EricssonAlfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team1:38.4504.786
911Sergio PerezSahara Force India F1 Team1:39.6415.975
103Daniel RicciardoAston Martin Red Bull Racing1:39.7386.072
1131Esteban OconSahara Force India F1 Team1:40.0876.421
1244Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:40.7437.077
137Kimi RaikkonnenScuderia Ferrari1:49.71116.045
1418Lance StrollWilliams Martini Racing2:02.39928.733
1535Sergey SirotkinWilliams Martini Racing2:04.09330.427
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas-F1 TeamN/AN/A
1728Brendon HartleyScuderia Toro RossoN/AN/A
188Romain GrosjeanHaas-F1 TeamN/AN/A
1927Nico HulkenbergRenault Sport Formula One TeamN/AN/A
2033Max VerstappenAston Martin Red Bull RacingN/AN/A