Scuderia Ferrari maintained its Friday pace advantage over Mercedes-AMG into Saturday’s final practice hit-out for the Azerbaijan Formula 1 Grand Prix. The red cars piloted by Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel dominated the final one-hour session, finishing over a second of the rest of the field.

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen beat the two Silver Arrows to third-fastest, with the Mercedes W10 challengers of Valtteri Bottas and championship leader Lewis Hamilton languishing fourth- and fifth-quickest.

The Mercedes’ are typically able to pull out something special in qualifying, but eliminating a gap of over 1.4 seconds to the Ferraris will be an epic achievement on Saturday afternoon.

A tight midfield scrap was headed by Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and his rookie teammate Alexander Albon – the latter narrowly avoiding an incident with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr. when the Spaniard was on a flying lap – with the duo surprisingly split by the Haas Ferrari of Kevin Magnussen.

Two-time Baku podium visitor Sergio Pérez put his Racing Point Mercedes ninth-fastest ahead of the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Räikkönen – the Finn’s teammate Antonio Giovinazzi was a solid twelfth-fastest, however the Italian will serve a 10-place grid penalty for a power unit element change.

Propping up the bottom of the timesheets, behind the Williams pairing of Robert Kubica and George Russell, was the second Red Bull Racing Honda of Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman will start Sunday’s race from the pit lane after missing a weighbridge check at the end of FP2, and chose instead to use the session to focus on race set-up work. It is not expected that he will take part in qualifying later today.


FORMULA 1 SOCAR AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX 2019 – FREE PRACTICE SESSION 3
Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari SF90 1:41.604 + 0.418 14
2. Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari SF90 1:41.802 + 0.198 14
3. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing RB15 1:42.852 + 1.248 16
4. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10 1:43.064 + 1.460 19
5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10 1:43.176 + 1.572 17
6. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:43.223 + 1.619 18
7. Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team VF-19 1:43.294 + 1.690 19
8. Alexander Albon Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:43.300 + 1.696 19
9. Sergio Pérez Racing Point F1 Team RP19 1:43.430 + 1.826 15
10. Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing C38 1:43.537 + 1.933 19
11. Daniel Ricciardo Renault F1 Team RS19 1:43.561 + 1.957 20
12. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing C38 1:43.637 + 2.033 20
13. Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team MCL34 1:43.924 + 2.320 20
14. Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren F1 Team MCL34 1:43.978 + 2.374 19
15. Lance Stroll Racing Point F1 Team RP19 1:44.039 + 2.435 16
16. Nico Hülkenberg Renault F1 Team RS19 1:44.043 + 2.439 19
17. Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team VF-19 1:44.374 + 2.770 16
18. Robert Kubica ROKiT Williams Racing FW42 1:46.000 + 4.396 19
19. George Russell ROKiT Williams Racing FW42 1:46.290 + 4.686 20
20. Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing RB15 1:47.836 + 6.232 22

Image via Formula1.com

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.
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