Max Verstappen topped the final Formula 1 practice session before Spanish Grand Prix qualifying as rain and crash for Williams’s Logan Sargeant limited running.
> Early red flag as Sargeant beaches his Williams
> Verstappen fastest prior to that
> Rain prevents improvements
> But drivers back on slicks by end of FP3
With rain forecast for FP3 the teams wasted little time in getting their drivers on softs and doing some qualifying simulations at the start of the session.
Verstappen was fastest after the early flurry of runs, setting a 1m13.664s – the fastest time of the weekend so far – that would help him complete a clean sweep of the practice sessions at Barcelona.
That time stood as the fastest as Sargeant clicked the inside kerb of the new final corner and beached his Williams in the gravel at corner exit, red-flagging the session.
That prematurely ended Sargeant’s FP3 under 10 minutes into the session and by the time the session resumed, the conditions were too bad for anybody to beat Verstappen’s time.
🚩 RED FLAG 🚩
— Formula 1 (@F1) June 3, 2023
The drivers spent 20 minutes in the garage before returning to the track on inters.
Lando Norris was the first driver to venture back onto the softs as the conditions improved, switching to slicks with 10 minutes to go.
This triggered the majority of drivers to head out on softs at the end of the session but nobody could improve.
Therefore Verstappen ended up 0.250s faster than Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez and a further tenth and a half quicker than Lewis Hamilton in the upgraded Mercedes W14.
Carlos Sainz was fourth in the revised Ferrari SF-23 ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and the second Mercedes of George Russell.
Charles Leclerc was seventh ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas, who set the fastest sector three time of FP3, and the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda.
Norris was the 10th fastest driver followed by Zhou Guanyu and Nyck de Vries, the latter of whom felt he was impeded by Sainz at Turn 12. The stewards noted the incident but decided it didn’t merit action.
The second Aston Martin of Lance Stroll was 13th fastest, half a second slower than Alonso and had to survive a trip through the gravel at the Turn 5 left-hander in the wet conditions.
Pierre Gasly was another to take to the gravel during the wet conditions, taking his Alpine off the road and through the gravel at the Turn 7 left-hander. He ended up 18th with team-mate Esteban Ocon 16th, both Alpines were the only drivers to use mediums rather than softs for their fastest efforts.
Practice 3 Results
|Pos||Name||Car||Best Time||Gap Leader|
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1m13.664s|
|2||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1m13.914s||+0.25s|
|5||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m14.264s||+0.6s|
|8||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m14.36s||+0.696s|
|9||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT||1m14.659s||+0.995s|
|11||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m14.681s||+1.017s|
|12||Nyck de Vries||AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT||1m14.693s||+1.029s|
|13||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m14.756s||+1.092s|