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  • Writer's pictureRhonan Colquhoun

F1: Mercedes continue to reign supreme in FP3

Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas finished 1-2 for the third time in three attempts as Mercedes maintained their hold on the top of the time-sheets.

4th July 2020

Hamilton and Bottas kept their positions that they had maintained through Practice's 1 and 2 with Red Bull's Max Verstappen less than three tenths behind in 3rd. Nearly all of the drivers ran the Medium compound tyre for the first half of the session with the Soft compound tyre being used in the last half. It is highly likely that come Qualifying that the fight for Pole Position will between Hamilton and Bottas.

It was a better session for Verstappen who finished 3rd. Red Bull have never qualified on Pole here before but Verstappen seems to be the closest driver to challenge the Mercedes duo. Verstappen's best lap time put him within three tenths of Hamilton and this is the closest we've seen a non-Mercedes driver all weekend so far.

Sergio Perez continue to demonstrate the pace of his Racing Point by finishing the session 4th ahead of the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. Leclerc, last year's pole-sitter, was over five tenths behind Hamilton and was just ahead of the Red Bull of Alexander Albon.

The session was Red Flagged after a crash for debutant Nicholas Latifi as he lit up the rear tyres which sent the Williams driver towards the barrier at Turn 1. Having spun there yesterday, the front wing was completely damaged and there was also small damage to his rear wing. He only managed six laps and will hope that his team will be able to fix his car before Qualifying begins.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was over seven tenths behind in 7th ahead of the Racing Point of Lance Stroll. Stroll will be hoping to avoid elimination during Q1 in Qualifying as the Canadian's one-lap pace has always been a struggle.

Pierre Gasly put in a great lap in his Alpha Tauri to finish 9th - one millisecond ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris.

The Renault drivers of Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo were just outside the top ten in 11th and 12th with the McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr in 13th.

Romain Grosjean was the highest-placed Haas driver in 15th and was ahead of the Williams of George Russell who finished the session a fantastic 16th. This shows the improvements that Williams have made for this season after a dismal year in 2019. Russell finished FP3 last year in 19th and 2.6 seconds off the pace where as he was only 1.5 seconds behind Hamilton's time today.

The Alpha Romeo's were closely matched as they have been all weekend but this time is was Antonio Giovinazzi ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in 18th and 19th.

FP3 Standings

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:04.130

  2. Valterri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:04.277

  3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Honda, 1:04.413

  4. Sergio Perez, Racing Point, 1:04.605

  5. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 1:04.703

  6. Alexander Albon, Red Bull Honda, 1:04.725

  7. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:04.851

  8. Lance Stroll, Racing Point, 1:04.918

  9. Pierre Gasly, Alpha Tauri, 1:04.949

  10. Lando Norris, McLaren Renault, 1:04.950

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