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Formula 1

What took place in F1’s final Dutch GP practice at Zandvoort

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc led the way in third practice of the Dutch Grand Prix weekend at Zandvoort, heading George Russell and Max Verstappen.

Key moments:

> Leclerc 0.066s ahead of Russell
> Verstappen shrugs off difficult Friday
> Step back for McLaren, step forward for Haas

F1 points leader Verstappen had missed most of Friday’s opening session and ended the day eighth-fastest, but made a very strong impression on his first run of FP3, first comfortably eclipsing his best time from Friday and then going one better with a 1m12.196s that stood as the best time of the weekend so far.

This gave him a half-second buffer over his rivals, though once Mercedes and Ferrari switched their drivers to fresh softs all four jumped ahead, headed by Leclerc’s 1m11.632s.

And once Verstappen fitted fresh softs, too, a ragged push lap punctuated by a sideways moment coming out of the banked Hugenholtz could only elevate him to third. He improved his time slightly on his next push lap but not his position.

Instead, it was Mercedes driver Russell who ended the session as closest to Leclerc, with a deficit of just 0.066s and almost a tenth in hand over Verstappen.

Carlos Sainz was three tenths off team-mate Leclerc in fourth, with Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Sergio Perez (Red Bull) completing the top six – Perez having set the fastest first sector of the session before losing handfuls of time over the rest of the lap.

Sainz had a late run-in with Perez, having to pass the Mexican round the outside entering the chicane and radioing his confusion about Perez’s positioning on track to the team.

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso was best of the rest behind the top three teams, followed by Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Haas’s Mick Schumacher – whose team-mate Kevin Magnussen was a close 11th.

Sandwiched between the Haas duo was McLaren’s Lando Norris, the Woking-based team’s eye-catching Friday form not replicated in FP3. Norris’s outgoing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo had a big trip through the gravel during the session and ended it only 15th.

The Alpine-linked Pierre Gasly was 15th for AlphaTauri, his session notable for him running through a ‘150m’ braking marker late on.

Practice 3 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m11.632s
2 George Russell Mercedes 1m11.698s +0.066s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m11.793s +0.161s
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m11.971s +0.339s
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m12.156s +0.524s
6 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m12.176s +0.544s
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1m12.327s +0.695s
8 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m12.491s +0.859s
9 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1m12.558s +0.926s
10 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m12.591s +0.959s
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m12.606s +0.974s
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m12.773s +1.141s
13 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m12.775s +1.143s
14 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m13.003s +1.371s
15 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1m13.046s +1.414s
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1m13.256s +1.624s
17 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1m13.299s +1.667s
18 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m13.359s +1.727s
19 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m13.421s +1.789s
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m13.625s +1.993s
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