Verstappen third fastest at final free practice in Portugal

Published on 24 October 2020 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen finished the third and final free practice for the Grand Prix of Portugal third fastest. The Dutchman lapped the 4,692 meter long Autódromo Internacional do Algarve twenty one times during the sixty minutes lasting session. His fastest time was a 1:16.812, while Bottas topped the board with a 1:16.654 and barely kept team mate Lewis Hamilton behind of him. The Mercedes duo did their runs on the soft compound tyre while Verstappen ran on the mediums.

It’s almost 18 degrees in Portimão when the lights go out for the third free practice. Carlos Sainz is the first driver to head out on track to do an installation lap, he is followed by Romain Grosjean in his Haas. Max Verstappen’s car is at that moment being taken care of by his engineers.

Valtteri Bottas is the first one to get a time on the clock after well over ten minutes: the Finn does a 1:17.888 on the softs. Team mate Lewis Hamilton slots in with a little less than thirty thousandths of a second in P2. After another attempt the six-time world champion takes over the top spot with a 1:16.931.

After almost twenty minutes, we see Max Verstappen exit the pit lane. The Dutchman has the yellow walled mediums mounted to his car and does a 1:17.659 in his first flying lap which earns him P6. Moments later Max manages to shave off a bit of his time to a 1:17.228, which puts him third fastest. For a brief moment it seems that the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing-driver could top the board, but his improvement (1:16.659) is taken away due to him exceeding the track limits.

In another attempt, this time a valid one, Verstappen does a 1:16.812. At this point in time we are a little over the halfway mark of the session. The top six consists then of Lewis Hamilton (1:16.680), Max Verstappen (+0.132), Pierre Gasly (+0.250), Alexander Albon (+0.437), Carlos Sainz (+0.562) and Charles Leclerc (+0.730). From this group only Hamilton, Gasly and Leclerc have driven their times on the soft compound.

With well over fifteen minutes on the clock, Max is out and about again, this time on a set of the soft compound tyres. Valtteri Bottas is at that moment at the top of the time sheet with a 1:16.654, also driven on the soft compound. The Dutchman is unable to better his time resulting in him finishing the session in third. As a result of a drain cover that came loose, the session is red flagged with just one minute remaining. Behind of Verstappen Pierre Gasly, Alexander Albon and Charles Leclerc round out the top six.

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Results third free practice Portugal:

1Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:16.654 27
2Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:16.680+0.026s23
3Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:16.812+0.158s21
4Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda1:16.930+0.276s24
5Alexander AlbonALBRed Bull Racing Honda1:17.117+0.463s25
6Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:17.229+0.575s20
7Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:17.238+0.584s24
8Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:17.297+0.643s17
9Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:17.478+0.824s22
10Esteban OconOCORenault1:17.666+1.012s20
11Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:17.685+1.031s24
12Daniil KvyatKVYAlphaTauri Honda1:17.720+1.066s29
13Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:17.922+1.268s20
14Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:17.935+1.281s13
15George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:18.032+1.378s20
16Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:18.100+1.446s17
17Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:18.201+1.547s20
18Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:18.287+1.633s13
19Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:18.397+1.743s20
20Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:18.454+1.800s19