Photo: Formula One

Verstappen fastest in practice again before Qualifying

The last practice session before Qualifying saw some much better weather for the 20 drivers, with the soft and medium tyres being bolted on from the off.

It was Kevin Magnussen who set the first lap in anger, however, and went 1.5seconds faster than his teammate who had set a long-run lap earlier. The two Ferraris were then setting purple sectors on the faster tyre.

Championship leader Max Verstappen didn’t take long to light up the timing screens too, and went faster than Carlos Sainz even on a slower tyre. His Mexican teammate, Sergio Perez, was less desperate to get out on track.

Traffic was still an issue just like it was in FP1 and FP2. This time, George Russell was held up by the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll, only 11 minutes into the session.

Stroll’s teammate, Fernando Alonso, then set a fast lap on the C4 tyre and was slower than the Canadian by a tenth or so.

There was nearly a huge accident after Nico Hulkenberg impeded Sergio Perez; the Red Bull pit-wall not realising that the German was on a high-fuel run.

The first yellow flag came out thanks to Kevin Magnussen taking a grassy escape in the last sector, just keeping his Haas out of the barrier.

Not even 5 minutes later, the red flag came out due to a large piece of debris on the track. A hinderance for the teams, who have already had limited dry running so far this weekend.

Lando Norris had an early end to proceedings with a reported clutch problem. More problems for McLaren, with the Briton not having set a low fuel run in the session.

It was nearly the same result for Zhou Guanyu who touched the barriers at turn one after a lockup.

Sergio Perez had a rather tricky session, nonstop running off the track into the gravel and not being able to find confidence in the car, particularly the brakes.

But his Dutch teammate was setting the pace again, as Max Verstappen topped practice before Qualifying.

Here’s how the top 10 finished:




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