Hamilton fastest in F1 Spanish GP FP3 as Bottas, Vettel, Russell spin

by James Eagles
Lewis Hamilton - Formula 1 - 2019 Spanish GP

Lewis Hamilton was the fastest man in final Free Practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, completing a clean sweep of the Free Practice sessions for Mercedes AMG Motorsport.

Hamilton’s best time, a 1:16.568, was 0.531 seconds clear of second-placed man Scuderia Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc, with Hamilton and Leclerc’s respective team-mates Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel close behind in third and fourth.

Both Bottas and Vettel suffered spins of differing magnitudes, with the Finn’s off at Turn 5 on cold tyres needing a brief red flag period in order to extract the car from the gravel trap with around two-thirds of the hour-long session left – however, Bottas returned to the track once his car was brought back to the pits.

Minutes prior to Bottas’s excursion, Vettel spun at the final chicane on a cool-down lap just moments after he had displaced Leclerc at the top of the standings by a fraction over a tenth-of-a-second.

All the frontrunners set their best times on the soft compound tyres in a qualifying simulation that took place in cooler, cloudier conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the track temperature sitting around 9°C lower than Friday afternoon.

The Ferraris set the early pace with Vettel and Leclerc trading times in the first 15 minutes, their advantage truncated by Hamilton’s first flying lap – the reigning world champion going 0.6 seconds clear on the medium tyres.

In the final quarter of the early afternoon session Bottas started an intense qualifying simulation period, but saw his first attempt hampered in the final sector by Vettel’s preparation lap.

The championship leader was immediately displaced by Leclerc and then by Hamilton’s scorching time, Vettel unable to get within 0.5 seconds a few hundred metres behind him.

Bottas tried to claw back the deficit but could only split the Ferraris, with the Haas F1 Team duo of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen storming ahead of Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen and Scuderia Toro Rosso‘s Alexander Albon.

Verstappen expressed his displeasure in being distracted at the final chicane by Lance Stroll, parking his car on the apex of Turn 1 as the Canadian started a fast lap.

The action was closed by George Russell‘s light collision with the tyre wall at Turn 3, the Williams Racing driver prompting a second and final red flag with five minutes of the session remaining.

Kimi Räikkönen and Carlos Sainz Jr. rounded out the top ten for Alfa Romeo Racing and the McLaren F1 Team respectively.

Pos.No.DriverNat.TeamTimeGap
144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport1:16.568-
216Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow1:17.099+0.531
377Valtteri BottasFINMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport1:17.123+0.555
45Sebastian VettelGERScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow1:17.172+0.604
58Romain GrosjeanFRARich Energy Haas F1 Team1:17.192+0.624
620Kevin MagnussenDENRich Energy Haas F1 Team1:17.530+0.962
733Max VerstappenNEDAston Martin Red Bull Racing1:17.558+0.990
823Alexander AlbonTHARed Bull Toro Rosso Honda1:17.864+1.296
97Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing1:17.969+1.401
1055Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPMcLaren F1 Team1:18.003+1.435
1126Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull Toro Rosso Honda1:18.105+1.537
1227Nico HülkenbergGERRenault F1 Team1:18.350+1.782
1311Sergio PérezMEXSportPesa Racing Point F1 Team1:18.656+2.088
1410Pierre GaslyFRAAston Martin Red Bull Racing1:18.693+2.125
1518Lance StrollCANSportPesa Racing Point F1 Team1:18.734+2.166
1699Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing1:18.740+2.406
173Daniel RicciardoAUSRenault F1 Team1:18.974+2.406
184Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:19.007+2.439
1963George RussellGBRROKiT Williams Racing1:19.421+2.853
2088Robert KubicaPOLROKiT Williams Racing1:20.570+4.002

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