F1: Verstappen burries field in final French GP practice

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen turned in a stunning lap of 1m31.300s to top the final practice for the French GP at Paul Ricard by 3/4s over the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

The Dutchman, having been evenly matched with Bottas in the early part of the session, laid down a mega lap late on to grab the top spot by a staggering 0.747s. The Finn was left trailing in his wake.

Carlos Sainz Jr was 3rd quick for Ferrari 0.895s back and essentially out to lunch.

Carlos Sainz Jr. 3rd quick – credit: @Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez was fourth and the Paul Ricard dominator, Lewis Hamilton, only fifth, no longer with the superior car.

The reigning world champion is driving Valtteri Bottas’ car from the earlier races this year and is learning just how bad a chassis Mercedes gave Bottas for all those races as he sits 0.966s off the pace and scratching his head, and only narrowly ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris in P6.

Lewis Hamilton is scratching his head, trying to find more time in the Mercedes – LAT Images

The Alpines had lit up the timing screens yesterday, but slipped back slightly on Saturday morning, Fernando Alonso heading teammate Esteban Ocon in P7 and P8, with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the top 10.

Practice 3 Results

1 33 Max Verstappen NED Red Bull Racing Honda 1:31.300 +0.000s 11
2 77 Valtteri Bottas FIN Mercedes 1:32.047 +0.747s 14
3 55 Carlos Sainz ESP Ferrari 1:32.195 +0.895s 17
4 11 Sergio Perez MEX Red Bull Racing Honda 1:32.238 +0.938s 15
5 44 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes 1:32.266 +0.966s 15
6 4 Lando Norris GBR McLaren Mercedes 1:32.336 +1.036s 14
7 14 Fernando Alonso ESP Alpine Renault 1:32.624 +1.324s 15
8 31 Esteban Ocon FRA Alpine Renault 1:32.681 +1.381s 16
9 10 Pierre Gasly FRA AlphaTauri Honda 1:32.707 +1.407s 16
10 3 Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren Mercedes 1:32.759 +1.459s 14
11 16 Charles Leclerc MON Ferrari 1:32.820 +1.520s 15
12 99 Antonio Giovinazzi ITA Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:33.017 +1.717s 17
13 18 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Mercedes 1:33.051 +1.751s 15
14 5 Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin Mercedes 1:33.200 +1.900s 18
15 7 Kimi Räikkönen FIN Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:33.328 +2.028s 16
16 63 George Russell GBR Williams Mercedes 1:33.364 +2.064s 16
17 22 Yuki Tsunoda JPN AlphaTauri Honda 1:33.424 +2.124s 17
18 6 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Mercedes 1:33.584 +2.284s 16
19 47 Mick Schumacher GER Haas Ferrari 1:34.143 +2.843s 14
20 9 Nikita Mazepin RUS Haas Ferrari 1:34.642 +3.342s 13