Styrian GP FP3 Report: Hamilton Leads Verstappen Ahead of Intense Qualifying Showdown
After two practice sessions on Friday, drivers completed their final practice session in the Styrian Grand Prix. Although the weather predictions made fans expect rain today, FP3 did not face any wet weather conditions throughout the session.
The top of the timesheets highlighted the Red Bull-Mercedes battle, with the Silver Arrows edging out the Austrian outfit. Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two ahead of his teammate Valtteri Bottas, with Max Verstappen just behind in P3.
Among the midfield contenders, Italian outfits Ferrari and AlphaTauri made a strong case to top the midfield battle this weekend.
Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes’ resurgence in FP3 at the Styrian GP
The Briton topped the timesheets fin the final practice session in the Styrian mountains ahead of his Dutch rival. Despite Verstappen dominating both sessions on Friday, he could only finish two-tenths behind Hamilton in this session.
Valtteri Bottas, who has a three-place grid penalty after yesterday’s events, finished just behind the Dutchman in P3. Sergio Perez slotted the second Red Bull in P4 after enduring a difficult time on Friday.
With qualifying in the Styrian mountains in a few hours’ time, Red Bull and Mercedes look set to have an intense battle for pole position.
AlphaTauri emerge as ‘best of the rest’ as Ferrari improve
Although an Italian team emerged as the ‘best of the rest,’ the title didn’t go to Ferrari. Instead, it went to AlphaTauri as Yuki Tsunoda took an impressive P5 ahead of his teammate Pierre Gasly, who took P6.
Charles Leclerc finished the session in P7, with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso finishing in P8. While Lance Stroll finished P9, his teammate Sebastian Vettel rounded off the Top 10 to mark a positive session for Aston Martin.
Although McLaren finished far behind their midfield rivals, they can take heart from Lando Norris having his fastest lap time deleted due to track limits.
The final practice session served as an interesting warm-up for qualifying later today. Although Red Bull and Mercedes look set to fight for top spot, AlphaTauri could upset the established contenders in the midfield battle.
Qualifying in the Styrian Grand Prix will begin at 3:00pm local time and 1:00pm GMT.
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