Having trailed Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in FP1 and FP2 on Friday, Verstappen hit back in FP3 as he produced the fastest time of the weekend - a 1m18.489s - heading into what promises to be a closely-fought qualifying at Portimao.

Verstappen set a succession of quick times in the closing stages of FP3, with his fastest flying effort ending up 0.236s clear of what seven-time world champion Hamilton was able to manage.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Bottas was a further tenth adrift in third, while Sergio Perez was just 0.020s behind the Finn in the second Red Bull.

Esteban Ocon continued Alpine’s encouraging start to the weekend with a time good-enough for fifth place and within 0.4s of Verstappen’s benchmark, while teammate Fernando Alonso was also up there until he had his best lap deleted for track limits, dropping him to P14.

Half a tenth separated Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in sixth and seventh, while Lando Norris recovered from a spin to put his McLaren eighth.

Rounding out the top-10 order in FP3 were AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly and Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen, while F1 rookie Yuki Tsunoda (11th) also managed to get within a second of the pace.

Reigning Formula 2 champion Mick Schumacher enjoyed a strong session to take P15 in his Haas, while both Aston Martin drivers struggled for pace with Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel only 16th and 18th respectively.

As he has done all weekend so far, Nikita Mazepin was anchored to the bottom of the timesheets, over six-tenths slower than Haas teammate Schumacher having had a number of off-track adventures throughout FP3.




Loading Comments...