Third and final free practice session of the Azerbaijan GP which ended surprisingly with Pierre Gasly in front of everyone. The Frenchman from AlphaTauri stole the best performance from Sergio Perez, 2nd ahead of Hamilton and the Ferraris. Verstappen wall, only 15 °.
The race steps on Friday
Max a muro
A session divided into two sections due to the red flag exposed for the accident in curve 15 of Max Verstappen. The Dutchman, struggling with a fast lap with hard rubber, blocked the front and was unable to avoid the wall into which Leclerc had crashed yesterday. Broken right front suspension arm, session over and a lot of work for the mechanics, who will have to put the car back on track by 2pm, qualifying start time. Not having crashed with the rear gearbox problems avoided, the only concern would be a break in the frame, but the impact did not seem so strong as to cause such damage. The Dutchman obviously closed the session far away because he was unable to carry out his qualifying simulation, finishing 15th at 1″733, recording its best performance on hard rubber.
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Lewis, a matter of wake
After a first part of the session with a rather dirty track, the times all arrived in the last part of FP3, at the end of which he excelled a surprising Pierre Gasly, which stopped the clock on an amazing one 1’42″251 (best time in the first and second sector) and removing the best performance a Sergio Perez, 2° a 0″344. Lewis Hamilton managed to hoist himself in third position in the last dive, reaching 0 “446 from the reference of the morning. For Lewis, a time” spoiled “by a good wake taken in the final straight, which allowed the Englishman to climb up positions in the standings at home the third fastest sector of all. However, not all the problems are solved for the W12, which continued to struggle to warm up the tires, a critical aspect for the flying lap. Both Mercedes drivers complained a rear that was unable to follow the front, for precise cornering but a complicated exit due to an unstable rear end. bottas in fact he only finished in 13th position, far from the leaders, a sign that Toto Wolff’s team has some concerns about the qualification. Behind his teammate, the two were placed Ferrari, with Leclerc 4th (+0 “527) and Sainz 5th (+0” 755), with the fastest Spaniard of Norris by only 5 thousandths. Behind Lando is Alonso, with a good seventh time, then Tsunoda, Ocon and Ricciardo.
The classification gave us a Ferrari once again good, even if for long stretches of the session Carlos Sainz complained about a less predictable car than yesterday, with a less stable rear. However, the performance was there, the times were good, with the SF21 which also confirmed its characteristics on Saturday morning in Azerbaijan: the Prancing Horse car pays a lot for top speeds, and in fact a large part of the delay comes from the first sector, while it asserts itself in the more driven sections.