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Formula 1

Turkish GP track conditions even worse in rain-hit FP3

by Matt Beer
2 min read

The Formula 1 field goes into Turkish Grand Prix qualifying in an even more uncertain situation after rain arrived on Saturday morning to exacerbate the Istanbul track’s grip problems.

Many drivers had already described Friday’s circuit conditions as the worst they’d encountered, as cold temperatures, early-morning track washing and the recent resurfacing of the circuit combined to leave times way off the 2011 pace as cars scrabbled hopelessly for grip they couldn’t find.

Rain before practice three then made that situation even worse still.

Sergio Perez, Lando Norris, Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Daniil Kvyat, Carlos Sainz Jr and Antonio Giovinazzi all had spins, while Leclerc also punted Esteban Ocon into a rotation at the final complex.

Esteban Ocon, Renault, Turkish GP F1 2020

Giovinazzi was the only driver who looked like he sustained any damage, the Alfa Romeo brushing the barrier with its front wing in the first of its two late-session spins.

Intermediates and wet tyres were both tried up and down the field, but neither tyre proved ideal for the combination of temperature and (no) grip.

Only 17 drivers set laptimes, with 20.9s covering them, as Max Verstappen completed a hat-trick of fastest times by doing a 1m48.485s in the window before the grip went from bad to worse as the rain intensified.

As was the case on Friday, Red Bull and Ferrari fared relatively well – Leclerc and Vettel going second and sixth, Alex Albon taking third.

Ocon and Norris sat between the Ferraris in fourth and fifth.

Valtteri Bottas was the only Mercedes driver to set a lap time and was eighth.

Current forecasts suggest the rain will pass before this afternoon’s qualifying session, but the track is still likely to be damp at best.

Practice 3 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m48.485s
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m49.43s +0.945s
3 Alex Albon Red Bull-Honda 1m50.059s +1.574s
4 Esteban Ocon Renault 1m53.897s +5.412s
5 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1m53.995s +5.51s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m54.49s +6.005s
7 Sergio Pérez Racing Point-Mercedes 1m55.577s +7.092s
8 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m55.666s +7.181s
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m55.878s +7.393s
10 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1m56.824s +8.339s
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m58.475s +9.99s
12 Carlos Sainz McLaren-Renault 1m59.548s +11.063s
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 2m02.325s +13.84s
14 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 2m02.473s +13.988s
15 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 2m04.748s +16.263s
16 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 2m06.351s +17.866s
17 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 2m09.368s +20.883s
18 George Russell Williams-Mercedes
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes
20 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
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