F1: Verstappen tops final practice for the Dutch GP

Local hero Max Verstappen finished P1 in final practice for the Dutch GP at Zandvoort with a lap of 1m09.623s in his #33 Red Bull Honda.

Verstappen beat both Mercedes drivers and ended upĀ  0.556s ahead of Valtteri Bottas and 0.794s ahead of title rival Lewis Hamilton. Game on ahead of qualifying then.

Those gaps of course have a slight question mark hovering over them – as fuel loads are an unknown, as are engine modes. But on paper at least, Verstappen looks the quickest and by a fair margin even if he is running slightly less fuel than his rivals.

Sergio Perez was 4th quick in the 2nd Red Bull Honda 0.903s behind his teammate while Fernando Alonso rounded out the top-5 for Alpine.

The race was Red Flagged when Carlos Sainz Jr. wadded up his Ferrari in Turn 3 early in the session.

Carlos Sainz Jr. wads up his #55 Ferrari in Turn 3

With Ferrari struggling today, the two teams to step forward and raise their hands were McLaren and Alpine. Norris looks to have raised his game after an understandably quiet Friday – with the youngster possibly still feeling that big shunt from last weekend.

As for Alpine, Esteban Ocon admitted to a couple of mistakes on his flying lap which explains why he dropped down the order, but Alonso wound up fifth and has Romain Grosjean no less tipping him to make a big impression come qualifying.

Great job from Robert Kubica, quickly getting up to speed and finishing in P19 in his first FP3 since Dec 2019.

With traffic set to be an issue as well, Q1 could wind up an entertaining tussle of who can time their runs right, while the specter of a Baku-esque red flag interrupted session is never far away here on this narrow track.

So, all eyes on qualifying here, which could be every bit as influential as the grid placings in Monaco often end up being. Verstappen is the heavy favorite for a seventh pole of the season, but can the Mercedes duo do anything about the rapid Dutchman?

Practice 3 Results

1 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 1:09.623 +0.000s 13
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:10.179 +0.556s 17
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:10.417 +0.794s 22
4 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing Honda 1:10.526 +0.903s 19
5 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault 1:10.670 +1.047s 16
6 4 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 1:10.781 +1.158s 18
7 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 1:10.842 +1.219s 19
8 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes 1:10.872 +1.249s 20
9 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:10.896 +1.273s 19
10 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda 1:11.005 +1.382s 21
11 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes 1:11.013 +1.390s 19
12 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 1:11.083 +1.460s 19
13 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 1:11.180 +1.557s 23
14 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:11.274 +1.651s 20
15 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:11.299 +1.676s 19
16 55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1:11.940 +2.317s 5
17 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda 1:11.980 +2.357s 29
18 9 Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari 1:12.136 +2.513s 22
19 88 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:12.162 +2.539s 27
20 47 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari 1:12.366 +2.743s 19


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