Verstappen second in final free practice on wet Istanbul Park

Published on 09 October 2021 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen finished the third free practice session for the Turkish Grand Prix in second position. The Dutchman drove eleven laps on a wet Istanbul Park and set his fastest time of 1:30.611 on intermediate tyres. Pierre Gasly for AlphaTauri was fastest with a 1:30.447. Sergio Pérez completed the top three.

It is 12 o’clock local time when the lights go green for the start of the session. It is raining however, so it takes a little while before the first drivers come out on track. Pierre Gasly is the first who comes out after about seven minutes. Teammate Yuki Tsunoda follows not much later together with both McLarens.

The circumstances improve slowly and it gets a bit busier on track. After about fifteen minutes, it is Lando Norris who is the first to swap the full wet tyres for intermediates, but it is still treacherous on the circuit because of puddles of water. A couple of drivers spin, including George Russell: the Brit loses control over his Williams in turn two and ends in the gravel. He becomes stuck, and the session is red flagged.

The circuit is cleared again just before the end of the first half of the session. Max Verstappen immediately leaves the pitlane and sets a 1:32.464 on intermediates. Behind him Lewis Hamilton, Antonio Giovinazzi, Kimi Räikkönen, Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas form the provisional top six. Max improves his time to a 1:31.043, before going back to the team in the pitlane and stepping out of the for this weekend white RB16B.

With fifteen minutes to go takes Sergio Pérez the lead by setting a 1:30.684. Not much later goes Pierre Gasly two tenths quicker. In the final minutes comes Verstappen out on track for the last time. On intermediates sets the Red Bull Racing drivers a 1:30.611, finishing in second position. Pierre Gasly is the quickest and Sergio Pérez finishes third. 

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Results third free practice Turkey:

1Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda1:30.447 19
2Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:30.611+0.164s11
3Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda1:30.684+0.237s13
4Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:31.262+0.815s22
5Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:31.543+1.096s18
6Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:31.545+1.098s15
7Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:31.572+1.125s17
8Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda1:31.981+1.534s21
9Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:31.996+1.549s8
10Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:32.089+1.642s17
11Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:32.097+1.650s21
12Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:32.111+1.664s14
13Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:32.228+1.781s23
14Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:32.270+1.823s18
15Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:32.314+1.867s18
16Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:33.348+2.901s11
17Nikita MazepinMAZHaas Ferrari1:33.425+2.978s14
18Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:33.636+3.189s5
19Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:35.681+5.234s8
20George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes---2