Formula 1

Verstappen Tops Final Dutch Grand Prix Practice as Sainz Crashes Heavily at Turn Three

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Credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images

The usual suspects came to the fore in final practice for the Dutch Grand Prix on Saturday morning, with Max Verstappen ending more than half a second ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

But after playing a staring role in practice on Friday, Carlos Sainz Jr. is now a doubt for participating in Qualifying after a heavy crash at turn three left his Scuderia Ferrari with a lot of damage.

Sainz was attacking early on but lost control of his SF21 on the approach to turn three, with the car going up the banking and into the wall heavily.  It caused the fourth red flag of the weekend and leaves his team a lot of work to do in the hours running up to Qualifying.

Back at the front of the field, Verstappen, racing in front of his home fans this weekend, topped the session with a blistering time of 1:09.623, with the Red Bull Racing driver securing top spot by 0.556 seconds.

Bottas ended second fastest for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, two-tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.  Hamilton was playing catch up after losing much of the afternoon session on Friday with an engine issue, but the Briton was seven-tenths off Verstappen in third, but just over a tenth ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Pérez.

It appears Red Bull and Mercedes will be the ones fighting over pole position later on Saturday afternoon, but behind them it could be anyone, with the next eleven drivers being separated by just six-tenths of a second.

Fernando Alonso led the pack for the Alpine F1 Team in fifth, just ahead of McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris, while Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team’s Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel were seventh and eighth, just 0.030 seconds apart.

Friday afternoon’s pacesetter Charles Leclerc was down in ninth as Ferrari appeared to struggle to match their performance from yesterday, while Sainz’s crash left him down in sixteenth.  The top ten was completed by Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda’s Pierre Gasly.

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo was just outside the top ten in eleventh, while Williams Racing’s Nicholas Latifi was an impressive twelfth, just ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, his Williams team-mate George Russell and Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN’s Antonio Giovinazzi.

Yuki Tsunoda could only manage seventeenth in the second AlphaTauri, but the Japanese racer was almost a full second behind team-mate Gasly, while Nikita Mazepin ended eighteenth for the Uralkali Haas F1 Team, just ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Robert Kubica and the second Haas of Mick Schumacher.

Kubica was taking part in his first session of the weekend after being drafted in to replace Kimi Räikkönen, who was ruled out for the remainder of the Dutch Grand Prix after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the day.  He completed twenty-seven laps and was the second busiest driver in the session behind only Tsunoda.

Circuit Zandvoort Free Practice 3 Result

133Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing1:09.623 12
277Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula  One Team1:10.179+0.55616
344Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula  One Team1:10.417+0.79421
411Sergio PérezMEXRed Bull Racing1:10.526+0.90319
514Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team1:10.670+1.04715
64Lando NorrisITAMcLaren F1 Team1:10.781+1.15818
718Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:10.842+1.21918
85Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:10.872+1.24919
916Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1:10.896+1.27319
1010Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:11.005+1.38220
113Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1:11.013+1.39018
126Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:11.083+1.46018
1331Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team1:11.180+1.55722
1463George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:11.274+1.65119
1599Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1:11.299+1.67619
1655Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPScuderia Ferrari1:11.940+2.3175
1722Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:11.980+2.35728
189Nikita MazepinRUSUralkali Haas F1 Team1:12.136+2.51322
1988Robert KubicaPOLAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1:12.162+2.53927
2047Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team1:12.366+2.74319
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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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