Formula 1

Verstappen tops final practice session of the year at Yas Marina

2 Mins read
Credt: Red Bull Content Pool

In the final practice session before the final race of the 2020 season, it was Max Verstappen who topped the timesheets in Abu Dhabi ahead of his team-mate Alexander Albon at Aston Martin Red Bull Racing.

The session was quiet to say the least, as it took more than twenty minutes for a car to appear on track, largely due to the unrepresentative conditions. Drivers shied away from risking all on track before Qualifying given that the track temperature wouldn’t necessarily give them the much-needed data they yearned for.

After what felt like an eternity, cars began to emerge from the pit-tunnel to test their limits on the track. Namely, Nicholas Latifi and the two Haas F1 Team cars, closely followed by the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN duo. Latifi was the first to set a lap-time on the soft tyres and he went on to end the session a familiar nineteenth.

The rest of the field soon followed, and the session was in full swing with thirty-five minutes to go. The majority were running the red-walled tyres in order to complete Qualifying simulations, but a number of drivers decided to mix-up the strategy and use the mediums. One of whom was Lance Stroll, who set a laptime good enough for seventh overall.

The session concluded soon after with the two Red Bull’s at the top of the table with Verstappen 0.501s clear of second place Albon. Daniel Ricciardo was just 0.125s behind in third- closely followed by his Renault F1 Team partner Esteban Ocon who also showed strong pace.

McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris completed the top five ahead of world champion Lewis Hamilton upon his return to the cockpit, and BWT Racing Point F1 Team’s Stroll finished behind him on the weekend they hope to bag third in the constructors. Carlos Sainz Jr. finished eighth in his last outing for McLaren just 0.017s ahead of Valtteri Bottas in ninth, and F1’s newest race winner Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten.

Qualifying will start in just two hours-time, and as per usual it looks to be a fight between Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas for pole. Mercedes have taken pole in every race bar one so far in 2020 and it would no doubt be a pleasant surprise to see that streak broken. However, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner divulged the silver arrows likely have ‘eight tenths in hand’ in the battle for pole- making it incredibly tricky for hard-charging Verstappen. As was the case yesterday, the midfield was separated by the finest of margins, so it’s all to play for later today.

Free Practice Three Timings:

Pos#DriverNat.TeamTimeGapLaps
133Max VerstappenNEDAston Martin Red Bull Racing1:36.25116
223Alexander AlbonTHAAston Martin Red Bull Racing1:36.7520.501s15
33Daniel RicciardoAUSRenault DP World F1 Team1:36.8770.626s12
431Esteban OconFRARenault DP World F1 Team1:36.8990.648s15
54Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:36.9940.743s13
644Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:37.0120.761s16
718Lance StrollCANBWT Racing Point Formula One Team1:37.0300.779s16
855Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPMcLaren F1 Team1:37.0680.817s12
977Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:37.0850.834s16
1011Sergio PérezMEXBWT Racing Point Formula One Team1:37.2270.976s13
1126Daniil KvyatRUSScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:37.2661.015s17
1216Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1:37.2701.019s14
1310Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:37.3711.120s18
145Sebastian VettelGERScuderia Ferrari1:37.7281.477s16
1563George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:37.8861.635s16
1699Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing1:37.9001.649s16
177Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing1:38.2692.018s16
1820Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team1:38.4572.206s14
196Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:38.7652.514s17
2051Pietro FittipaldiBRAHaas F1 Teamm1:39.1592.908s15

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