2023 Spanish Grand Prix FP3 Report & Highlights: Verstappen leads Perez and Hamilton in rain affected final practice session in Barcelona

2023 Spanish Grand Prix FP3 Report & Highlights: Verstappen leads Perez and Hamilton in rain affected final practice session in Barcelona

Max Verstappen made it all-around practice sessions in Barcelona, ​​with the Red Bull driver setting the fastest time during the rain-delayed FP3, ahead of teammate Sergio Perez and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in preparation for qualifying later today.

With rain threatening during the session, all 20 drivers made their way to the track, looking to make as much of a run as possible in the drier conditions, with Verstappen setting the early pace ahead of Perez and Hamilton.

READ MORE: Verstappen says ‘everything looked good’ on his way to Friday’s two-time practice in Spain

However, as the lap times began to flow, the session was red flagged after Logan Sargeant’s Williams lost the car going into the final corner, going through the gravel, before ending up in the barrier.

When the session resumed, it began to rain, with all 20 drivers choosing to wait in the garage, before Lando Norris made his way onto the track on the intermediates, followed later by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

With conditions too wet to improve on lap times, Verstappen’s early time of 1m 13.664s saw him move ahead of Perez by 0.250s, with Hamilton still in third, just over four-tenths behind the Dutch driver – in a much-improved showing from Mercedes.

Carlos Sainz, the home favorite, was fourth, ahead of compatriot Fernando Alonso in an Aston Martin, Mercedes’ George Russell, and his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc, in seventh.

Data points: What we learned from Friday practice in Spain

Valtteri Bottas finished eighth fastest for Alfa Romeo, ahead of Alfa Tauri driver Yuki Tsunoda in ninth place, while Lando Norris rounded out the top ten for McLaren.

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The other Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu was 11th on the timesheet, ahead of Nyck de Vries’ AlphaTauri in 12th, with Lance Stroll – who briefly ran across the gravel after pitching at Turn 5 in wet conditions – dropping 13th for an Aston Martin .

Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg – who finished third in FP2 on Friday – was 14th, ahead of rookie McLaren driver Oscar Piastri, in 15th, while Esteban Ocon was down in 16th – although he and his Jebel teammate Alpine Pierre Gasly set their fastest time in the race. media compared to the rest of the network on soft materials.

Kevin Magnussen finished 17th for Haas, ahead of Gasly – who went through the gravel in the wet conditions at Turn 6 – in 18th, while the Williams duo of Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant fell to the bottom of the field.

Join us again at 1600 local time for a sure-fire qualifying battle ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

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