Verstappen second fastest after final free practice in Interlagos

Published on 16 November 2019 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen finished the third and final free practice second fastest in the run up to the Brazilian Grand Prix. On the 4,309 meter long Autodromo José Carlos Pace, the Dutchman lapped the track 18 times doing a 1:08.346 as his fastest lap time. Worldchampion Lewis Hamilton narrowly topped the board with a 1:08.320 and finished the session on top. Charles Leclerc rounded up the top three for Ferrari.

It’s 12:00 local time when the third and final free practice gets underway. Lando Norris, together with Alexander Albon and Romain Grosjean form the first group of drivers that venture out for an installation lap. Max Verstappen quickly follows suit.

After a quiet first fifteen minutes of the session, it starts getting busier on the Interlagos track. Max makes it to track some minutes later as well. Lewis Hamilton is leading the pack by then with a 1:09.562. Charles Leclerc (P2), Sebastian Vettel (P3) and Valtteri Bottas (P4) keep the gap to the newly crowned worldchampion within two tenths.

Max sets a 1:09.327 in his first flying lap on the softs, putting him on top. A second attempt earns the Dutchman a 1:09.063. This puts him almost four tenths up on Hamilton, who has managed to improve his time to a 1:09.454.

After a brief visit to his team, Verstappen heads back out on track. With a new set of softs strapped on to his RB15, Max manages to better his time again, this time round to a 1:09.059. However, he quickly loses his first spot to both Ferraris, who better his time well under the 1:09’s. At the front they are taking turns for the lead as Lewis Hamilton takes it back by doing a 1:08.320.

Max heads back out again in the closing stage of the session on a new set of the softs and closes the gap to leader Lewis Hamilton with a 1:08.346 to just 0.026 second. The Aston Martin Red Bull Racing-driver snatches P2, the very same spot he is in when the flag drops. Charles Leclerc (+0.291), Sebastian Vettel (+0.344), Alexander Albon (+0.816) and Valtteri Bottas (+0.881) form the top-six behind the Dutchman.

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Results third free practice Brazil:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:08.320 17
2Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:08.346+0.026s18
3Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:08.611+0.291s20
4Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:08.664+0.344s22
5Alexander AlbonALBRed Bull Racing Honda1:09.136+0.816s17
6Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:09.201+0.881s20
7Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:09.415+1.095s22
8Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:09.462+1.142s20
9Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:09.585+1.265s18
10Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:09.588+1.268s21
11Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:09.619+1.299s21
12Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:09.625+1.305s19
13Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:09.650+1.330s17
14Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:09.713+1.393s18
15Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:09.761+1.441s17
16Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:09.798+1.478s20
17Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:09.995+1.675s19
18Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:10.312+1.992s16
19George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:10.843+2.523s19
20Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:11.205+2.885s23