Formula 1

Max Verstappen Fastest in Wet Final Practice at Spa-Francorchamps

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Credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images

Max Verstappen was fastest ahead of team-mate Sergio Pérez in the final free practice session at a wet Spa-Francorchamps on Saturday morning.

Track conditions were difficult all session long, with pre-session rain making it very definitely intermediate tyre weather, while another shower midway through the session meant the track was never truly dry enough to switch to the dry weather tyres.

The Red Bull Racing duo of Verstappen and Pérez appeared to get the best out of the conditions by taking first and second, although there was 0.947 seconds between them, and if they can replicate this in Qualifying later on Saturday, the team will be delighted.

Lewis Hamilton ended third fastest for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, but behind him it was a more jumbled up order as drivers attempted to get a good lap around the longest lap on the calendar in very difficult conditions.

Lando Norris ended fourth fastest for the McLaren F1 Team, with the Briton having the honour of being the only driver to attempt a lap on the dry tyres in the final two minutes of the session.  However, after a tricky out-lap, he made an immediate return to the pit lane.

Hungarian Grand Prix race winner Esteban Ocon was one of the last to set a representative lap time, but the Alpine F1 Team driver ended fifth fastest, just ahead of wet-weather specialist Lance Stroll of the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team.

Pierre Gasly had a spin at Courbe Paul Frère, but the Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda driver’s best lap was good enough for seventh, just ahead of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, while George Russell was an impressive ninth for Williams Racing, just ahead of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso.

Valtteri Bottas, who will have a five-place grid penalty to apply in Qualifying for causing that collision at the first corner of the Hungarian Grand Prix, was outside the top ten on Saturday morning in the second Mercedes, with the Finn ending just ahead of the second Williams of Nicholas Latifi.

Daniel Ricciardo was thirteenth in the second McLaren ahead of the leading Scuderia Ferrari of Carlos Sainz Jr., while the Spaniard’s team-mate Charles Leclerc, running for the rest of the weekend with a new chassis after his crash on Friday, was sixteenth, just behind Uralkali Haas F1 Team’s Mick Schumacher.

Yuki Tsunoda was down in seventeenth for AlphaTauri, while it was a disappointing session for Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN, with Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Räikkönen eighteenth and twentieth respectively, either side of the Haas of Nikita Mazepin.

Räikkönen’s session was restricted to just three laps as he suffered a suspected brake failure.  He was able to get back to the pits, but the subsequent fix was not completed in time for him to resume running.

The track conditions saw a number of drivers run off track, particularly at the end of the Kemmel Straight, with the likes of Hamilton, Bottas and Vettel all going through the run-off zone.

Further rain is predicted to fall across the remainder of the weekend, but only time will tell if it plays any part in Qualifying.  If it does, pole position could go many different ways!

Belgian Grand Prix Free Practice 3 Result

POSNO.DRIVERNATTEAMTIMEGAPLAPS
133Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing1:56.924 10
211Sergio PérezMEXRed Bull Racing1:57.871+0.9477
344Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula  One Team1:57.996+1.0729
44Lando NorrisITAMcLaren F1 Team1:58.509+1.58511
531Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team1:58.913+1.98915
618Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:59.205+2.28116
710Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:59.324+2.40014
85Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:59.436+2.51215
963George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:59.492+2.5689
1014Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team1:59.613+2.68916
1177Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula  One Team1:59.808+2.88414
126Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:59.981+3.05711
133Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team2:00.456+3.53213
1455Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPScuderia Ferrari2:00.749+3.82517
1547Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team2:01.269+4.34518
1616Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari2:01.370+4.44614
1722Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda2:01.510+4.58620
1899Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN2:01.512+4.58820
199Nikita MazepinRUSUralkali Haas F1 Team2:01.792+4.86819
207Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN2:04.382+7.4583
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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