Max P9 in final Melbourne practice

Published on 16 March 2019 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen ended the third and final practice session to the Austrialian Grand Prix in ninth. The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver completed nineteen laps of the Albert Park Street Circuit where Lewis Hamilton proved quickest in his Mercedes. The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were second and third.

Ahead of FP3, Max’s RB15 has undergone a chassis chance, so the Dutchman heads straight back into the pits after an installation lap at the start of the session to make sure all system work.

George Russell and Robert Kubica, both Williams, are the first drivers to set a lap. Unfortunately for them, the team remains at the bottom of the time tables.

Ten minutes later, Max heads out for his first timed lap, using the medium Pirelli compound. After half an hour, when Ferrari and Mercedes have set times, Lewis Hamilton is quickest ahead of Vettel, Leclerc and Hamilton’s Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas.

Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) reports debris at the entrance to the pits; Robert Kubica has lightly touched the wall.

In the closing twenty minutes, all the teams switch to the soft tyre to prepare for qualifying. Hamilton extends the Mercedes dominance in free practice by setting the fastest lap (1:22.292) in FP3. The Ferraris trail by respectively two and four-and-half tenths to the reigning world champion.

Max also heads out on the softs. His 1:23.481 grants him P9 ahead of qualifying in Melbourne.

Australian GP contest: win a RBR Driver Cap 2019 and 1:8 2016 Verstappen helmet!

Results third free practice Australia:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:22.292 12
2Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:22.556+0.264s12
3Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:22.749+0.457s12
4Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:23.112+0.820s17
5Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:23.334+1.042s15
6Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda1:23.367+1.075s17
7Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:23.422+1.130s17
8Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:23.442+1.150s16
9Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:23.481+1.189s19
10Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:23.695+1.403s14
11Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:23.737+1.445s15
12Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:23.831+1.539s16
13Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:24.049+1.757s21
14Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:24.082+1.790s18
15Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:24.328+2.036s15
16Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:24.345+2.053s16
17Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:24.402+2.110s18
18Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:24.568+2.276s16
19George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:25.944+3.652s14
20Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:26.589+4.297s16