Valtteri Bottas outpaced Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and his teammate Lewis Hamilton once again to make it three out of three practice sessions in first position at the Tuscan Grand Prix.
Bottas put his Mercedes in first in all of the practice sessions this weekend putting himself in a brilliant position going into qualifying this afternoon.
Verstappen was fractionally behind essentially equalling Bottas’ lap. Verstappen was able to carry much more speed through the majority of the corners around the track with the high speed corners dominating this track and favouring efficient aero.
The Mercedes was able to claw it back later on with higher top speed however.
Hamilton has closed the gap over the weekend being half a second down in FP1 but Bottas was just able to find a level much quicker at this new track to the calendar.
In the first twenty minutes or so there was very little action as always in FP3. The only driver to set a laptime was Valtteri Bottas before a third of the session was over and the rest of the field came out to play.
There was hope in the session that Red Bull had the pace this weekend to pose a challenge to the all dominant Mercedes.The potential is there for a similar performance to the 70th Anniversary GP, the race they won.
Verstappen was able to set some very fast times mid-session on the medium tyres and crucially was able to keep the performance in the tyres which is a large struggle at this very abrasive racetrack.
Fourth went to Lance Stroll who is running new updated parts on the Racing Point fresh from his podium placing in Monza last week. He was half a second down on Bottas’ best time.
Pierre Gasly also was riding the wave of his victory last week in fifth, splitting the Racing Points a couple of tenths clear of Perez.
Charles Leclerc had a significant edge in the Ferrari at the weekend in which the team celebrate their 1000th Grand Prix placing ahead of Alex Albon who was a second off of Verstappen.
Daniil Kvyat and Romain Grosjean rounded out the top 10.
Esteban Ocon was the lead Renault in 11th with Carlos Sainz the lead McLaren in 12th.
Both Alfa Romeos made a good fist of it in 13th and 14th with Antonio Giovinazzi ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. Kevin Magnussen finished 15th.
Nicholas Latifi was the only Williams to set a time as George Russell had a brake by wire issue which meant he did not get out for a timed lap all session.
Latifi finished ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel and Lando Norris who were the slowest of those to set times.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||0.017|
|4||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||0.582|
|6||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||0.811|
|8||Alex Albon||Red Bull||1.008|
|13||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1.282|
|14||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1.313|
|20||George Russell||Williams||No Time|