Mercedes-AMG completed a clean sweep of the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix practice timesheets, with Lewis Hamilton narrowly outpacing teammate Valtteri Bottas in final practice. McLaren’s Lando Norris finished a fine third-fastest.
It was almost halfway through the final one-hour session before the two Mercedes’ emerged on track, with many runners opting to restrict their tyre mileage ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session.
Hamilton and Bottas both attempted their qualifying-style runs on the quickly degrading Soft tyres in the final fifteen minutes of play, with Hamilton emerging quickest overall with a time of 1:26.621. Bottas was less than two-tenths of a second slower on his run.
Norris’ programme contrasted that of the two Mercedes’, with the youngster one of the first on track in his McLaren Renault. Impressively, he posted his quickest time – nearly 0.6 seconds off Hamilton’s best effort – on the more favoured Medium rubber. Teammate Carlos Sainz Jr opted for the same strategy, finishing tenth-fastest.
The Racing Point Mercedes’ – the team still framing up a formal response to its sanctions handed down by the FIA – performed strongly once again, with stand-in driver Nico Hülkenberg narrowly quicker than Lance Stroll.
Charles Leclerc was sixth-quickest in his Ferrari which, like teammate Sebastian Vettel (who suffered an engine failure in FP2), was fitted with new power units, turbochargers and MGU-H elements. Neither driver will incur a grid penalty since they are still within their allocation for the season, but the new elements didn’t make Vettel any quicker as he finished P13.
Chasing Leclerc were the two Red Bull Racing Hondas of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon. The former had to abort a fast lap after being held up by Stroll through Maggotts/Becketts – triggering an expletive-laden rant from the Dutch driver.
Renault’s Esteban Ocon was ninth-fastest – teammate Daniel Ricciardo was an unconvincing P14 – ahead of Sainz, the AlphaTauri Hondas of Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat, and Vettel’s Ferrari.
The Haas, Williams and Alfa Romeo teams occupied their usual positions at the bottom of the timesheets, with the sextet led by Romain Grosjean who was marginally quicker than the Williams teammates Nicholas Latifi and George Russell.
Antonio Giovinazzi outpaced teammate Kimi Räikkönen, while the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen rounded out the running.
|EMIRATES FORMULA 1 70TH ANNIVERSARY GRAND PRIX 2020 – FREE PRACTICE SESSION 3|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team W11||1:26.621||15|
|2.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team W11||1:26.784||+ 0.163||16|
|3.||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team MCL35||1:27.202||+ 0.581||20|
|4.||Nico Hülkenberg||Racing Point F1 Team RP20||1:27.256||+ 0.635||16|
|5.||Lance Stroll||Racing Point F1 Team RP20||1:27.263||+ 0.642||15|
|6.||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari SF1000||1:27.328||+ 0.707||18|
|7.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing RB16||1:27.455||+ 0.834||12|
|8.||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing RB16||1:27.474||+ 0.853||15|
|9.||Esteban Ocon||Renault F1 Team R.S.20||1:27.496||+ 0.875||15|
|10.||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren F1 Team MCL35||1:27.627||+ 1.006||22|
|11.||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia AlfaTauri AT01||1:27.659||+ 1.038||15|
|12.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia AlfaTauri AT01||1:27.754||+ 1.133||18|
|13.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF1000||1:27.811||+ 1.190||20|
|14.||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault F1 Team R.S.20||1:27.815||+ 1.194||12|
|15.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team VF-20||1:28.076||+ 1.455||15|
|16.||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Racing FW43||1:28.125||+ 1.504||14|
|17.||George Russell||Williams Racing FW43||1:28.349||+ 1.728||17|
|18.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing C39||1:28.468||+ 1.847||13|
|19.||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing C39||1:28.538||+ 1.917||12|
|20.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team VF-20||1:28.763||+ 2.142||16|
Image via Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
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