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
|1||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull Racing||1:09.623||12|
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:10.179||+0.556||16|
|3||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:10.417||+0.794||21|
|4||11||Sergio Pérez||MEX||Red Bull Racing||1:10.526||+0.903||19|
|5||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Alpine F1 Team||1:10.670||+1.047||15|
|6||4||Lando Norris||ITA||McLaren F1 Team||1:10.781||+1.158||18|
|7||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||1:10.842||+1.219||18|
|8||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||1:10.872||+1.249||19|
|9||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||1:10.896||+1.273||19|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:11.005||+1.382||20|
|11||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||1:11.013||+1.390||18|
|12||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||1:11.083||+1.460||18|
|13||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Alpine F1 Team||1:11.180||+1.557||22|
|14||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||1:11.274||+1.651||19|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||1:11.299||+1.676||19|
|16||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||1:11.940||+2.317||5|
|17||22||Yuki Tsunoda||JAP||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||1:11.980||+2.357||28|
|18||9||Nikita Mazepin||RUS||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||1:12.136||+2.513||22|
|19||88||Robert Kubica||POL||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||1:12.162||+2.539||27|
|20||47||Mick Schumacher||GER||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||1:12.366||+2.743||19|