Max Verstappen stayed at the top of the timesheets to complete a practice clean sweep for Formula 1’s Turkish Grand Prix as the Red Bull driver once again set the pace in a treacherously wet FP3.

After struggling with low-grip throughout Friday practice at Istanbul Park, which was newly resurfaced just two weeks ago, the drivers were faced with even tricker conditions in final practice on Saturday morning after overnight rain had fallen and drizzle swept the circuit.

Verstappen’s leading time of a 1m48.485s was set on Intermediate tyres early on in the final 60-minute practice session ahead of qualifying in Turkey, before the rain intensified and track conditions worsened.

Charles Leclerc survived a number of spins and off-track excursions to take second as Ferrari continued its encouraging competitiveness at F1’s first visit to Istanbul in nine years, with the Monegasque driver ending up nearly a second down on Verstappen.

A further five-tenths back came the under-pressure Alex Albon, who was third-quickest as he continues to fight for his seat at Red Bull for the 2021 season.

Renault’s Esteban Ocon got spun around by Leclerc after the pair made light contact at Turn 12 before he went on to set the fourth-best lap time, over five seconds off the pace of Verstappen’s benchmark.

Lando Norris took fifth place for McLaren, ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas, who was the highest-placed Mercedes driver in eighth.

Kevin Magnussen and Lance Stroll completed the top 10 for Haas and Racing Point.

11th place went the way of Daniel Ricciardo, with Carlos Sainz 12th after surviving a huge slide at Turn 7 as he narrowly avoided hitting the barriers in his McLaren MCL35.

Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi was the first of the drivers on a 2minute lap time as he spun in worsening conditions towards the end of FP3 and clipped the wall at Turn 2.

Behind Giovinazzi came AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, Romain Grosjean, Kimi Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat, who was the final driver to set a lap time.

Williams pair George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, who can clinch a record-equalling seventh drivers world title this weekend, only went out for exploratory laps.

The conditions have set up the prospect of a fascinating qualifying session, which looks set to take place in the wet.




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