until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Bottas takes clean sweep of Algarve practice for Mercedes

by Matt Beer
3 min read

Valtteri Bottas topped the third practice session ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix, which was red-flagged just before its scheduled conclusion.

The Mercedes driver moved to the top of the times with 24 minutes remaining in FP3, and he held onto the position when the expected improvements from the final runs didn’t come.

Just as the session was winding down, the red flags were shown due to a loose drain on the exit of Turn 14 towards the end of the lap, which was run over by Sebastian Vettel.

Several drivers asked their engineers why they weren’t going faster, with Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen among those told that the lack of improvements were probably down to the wind.

Verstappen, who had a lap time deleted for track limits that would have put him second in the session, said “it must be a hurricane then!”.

Lewis Hamilton was second to his Mercedes team-mate Bottas, just 0.026 seconds slower, while Verstappen’s deleted lap would have put the Red Bull just 0.005s behind the Finn.

Hamilton had a low-speed trip through the gravel at Turn 8 around the same time Bottas went quickest.

Verstappen’s best lap that stayed within track limits was only 0.156s slower than Bottas to put him third, while ex-Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly was next up for AlphaTauri, using a new chassis after his fire on Friday.

That put the Frenchman ahead of under-pressure Red Bull driver Alex Albon who was fifth, and the only other driver inside half a second of Bottas’s pace.

Charles Leclerc, was sixth-fastest, and towards the end of the session he reported a bizarre incident of being able to hear Lewis Hamilton’s team radio through his own system.

Carlos Sainz Jr, Sergio Perez, Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.

Vettel was just outside the top 10 in 11th, while Daniel Ricciardo was only 14th for Renault after suffering a DRS failure late in the session.

However, with so few improvements in the final part of the session, it’s unlikely Ricciardo would have made a big leap up the order with a clean end to the session.

Williams was summoned to the stewards after the session due to George Russell passing the red light at the end of the pitlane when the session was stopped.

Russell said over the radio that he saw the light turn red at the last moment “but I was already through”.

Practice 3 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m16.654s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m16.68s +0.026s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m16.812s +0.158s
4 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1m16.93s +0.276s
5 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda 1m17.117s +0.463s
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m17.229s +0.575s
7 Carlos Sainz McLaren-Renault 1m17.238s +0.584s
8 Sergio Pérez Racing Point-Mercedes 1m17.297s +0.643s
9 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m17.478s +0.824s
10 Esteban Ocon Renault 1m17.666s +1.012s
11 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m17.685s +1.031s
12 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 1m17.72s +1.066s
13 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m17.922s +1.268s
14 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m17.935s +1.281s
15 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m18.032s +1.378s
16 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m18.1s +1.446s
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m18.201s +1.547s
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m18.287s +1.633s
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m18.397s +1.743s
20 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m18.454s +1.8s
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