Purple Bull’s Max Verstappen finally bought the easier of the males from Mercedes on the third strive in practice when clocking the fastest lap in Saturday’s closing session for the Spanish Colossal Prix.
Verstappen shades Hamilton
Eclipsed by Valtteri Bottas in the first session and Lewis Hamilton in the 2d, Verstappen rose to the pinnacle of the times sooner than what promises to be an evenly contested qualifying session.
The Dutch driver, eight points adrift of Hamilton in the drivers’ standings, modified into once 0.235sec too fast for the seven-time world champion, with Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz and Bottas completing the pinnacle five.
With less than a 2d separating Verstappen from Esteban Ocon’s Alpine in 13th space the strive against for the pinnacle of the grid for Sunday’s slouch might well serene be intense.
Hamilton has solid ties with this slouch, having gained it for the past four years, and five in total, and is in pursuit of his 100th pole after being denied that milestone by his teammate Bottas in Portugal remaining week.
Qualifying will get beneath diagram at 15: 00 SAST.
The importance of a prime entrance row seat on Sunday at a circuit not known for its abundance of overtaking alternatives is borne out by past results — 22 of the past 30 winners contain occupied pole space.
Third practice session times:
Max Verstappen (NED/Purple Bull-Honda) 1: 17.835 (11 laps), Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1: 18.070 (14), Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1: 18.308 (17), Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari) 1: 18.410 (18), Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes) 1: 18.423 (15), Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1: 18.494 (14), Pierre Gasly (FRA/AlphaTauri-Honda) 1: 18.535 (17), Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1: 18.582 (21), Kimi Räikkönen (FIN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1: 18.597 (18), Sergio Pérez (MEX/Purple Bull-Honda) 1: 18.606 (16), Fernando Alonso (ESP/Alpine-Renault) 1: 18.662 (18), Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Honda) 1: 18.673 (21), Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1: 18.700 (15), Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1: 18.877 (18), George Russell (GBR/Williams-Mercedes) 1: 19.005 (17), Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1: 19.214 (19), Sebastian Vettel (GER/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1: 19.363 (18), Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams-Mercedes) 1: 19.392 (16), Mick Schumacher (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1: 19.999 (17), Nikita Mazepin (RUS/Haas-Ferrari) 1: 20.237 (15),