Verstappen on top after final free practice Imola
Published on 17 April 2021 by Kees-Jan Koster
Max Verstappen finished the third and final free practice session for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix as fastest. The Dutchman did eighteen laps in the messy session coming to a 1:14.958 as fastest time. Leaving Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton in second and third place about half a second behind. Red Bull Racing teammate Sergio Pérez finished fourth.
At 11.00 the lights at the end of the pitlane go green for the start of the final free practice session. Kimi Räikkönen is the first driver to leave the pitlane and set a time. Not much later both Haas drivers come out, after which it gets a bit busier on track. Max Verstappen first comes out after almost 25 minutes. The Dutchman hopes to drive more kilometres today after the driveshaft issues during the second free practice yesterday.
But it does not start well, when Nicholas Latifi – just before Max wants to start his first timed lap – looses control in turn six. The Canadian can free his car from the barrier and return to the pits, but race control decides to stop the session by showing the red flag.
Halfway the session the teams and drivers can continue. With a 1:16.642, Sergio Pérez has the fastest time. Behind him both Ferraris, the Alfa Romeos and Nicholas Latifi form the top six. Verstappen sets a 1:16.251 in his first timed lap and takes over the lead from his teammate, but his time is deleted for exceeding the track limits. The same happens to Lewis Hamilton not much later. Valtteri Bottas does stay within the lines and goes into the lead with a 1:15.984.
In a new attempt Max sets a 1:15.895 (P1), before returning to the pits. Four drivers go under Verstappen’s time, so with fifteen minutes to go the top six is formed by Lewis Hamilton (1:15.515), Lando Norris (+0.022), Charles Leclerc (+0.223), Pierre Gasly (+0.375), Max Verstappen (+0.380) and Carlos Sainz (+0.393). Except for the AlphaTauri of Gasly, all of them set their times on red soft tyres.
Max comes out on track again in the final phase of the third free practice session. With a fresh set of soft tyres on his RB16B the Dutchman takes an impressive nine tenths of his fastest time and takes the lead. During the rest of the session this time is not improved, so Max stays on top op the list with a 1:14.958. Norris, Hamilton, Pérez, Leclerc and Gasly complete the top six.
|1||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:14.958||17|
|2||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||1:15.414||+0.456s||16|
|4||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:15.551||+0.593s||17|
|6||Pierre Gasly||GAS||AlphaTauri Honda||1:15.890||+0.932s||21|
|9||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Alpine Renault||1:16.186||+1.228s||19|
|10||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||1:16.228||+1.270s||19|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda||1:16.230||+1.272s||19|
|12||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:16.245||+1.287s||18|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||RIC||McLaren Mercedes||1:16.253||+1.295s||16|
|14||Sebastian Vettel||VET||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:16.389||+1.431s||18|
|15||George Russell||RUS||Williams Mercedes||1:16.427||+1.469s||19|
|16||Mick Schumacher||SCH||Haas Ferrari||1:16.448||+1.490s||21|
|17||Nicholas Latifi||LAT||Williams Mercedes||1:16.537||+1.579s||14|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||GIO||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:16.612||+1.654s||21|
|19||Kimi Räikkönen||RAI||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:16.803||+1.845s||22|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||MAZ||Haas Ferrari||1:17.398||+2.440s||22|