Max concludes the third and final free practice in France in P5

Published on 22 June 2019 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen concluded the third free practice for the French Grand Prix in fifth place. The Dutchman drove eleven laps with a fastest lap of 1:31.538, which was more than a second slower than the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas (1:30.159) and Lewis Hamilton (1:30.200). The dissatisfied Verstappen reported at the end of the session that he did not have any grip. Ferrari took third and fourth place, but was almost five tenths slower than Mercedes.

Again the weather was beautiful when the final and third free practice gets underway. Lando Norris is the first who enters the 48 degrees warmth track, but the Brit is quickly followed by his teammate and the drivers of Hass and Toro Rosso. Robert Kubica sets the first time in his Williams.

It takes fifteen minutes before it gets busier on the Circuit Paul Ricard and more lap times appear on the time list. After the first runs it is Valtteri Bottas (1:31.383), Charles Leclerc (+0.083), Lewis Hamilton (+0.317) and Sebastian Vettel (+0.360) who form the top four. Around that time Max Verstappen enters the track for the first time. The Dutchman has the red, soft tires on his RB15 and sets a 1:31.383 in his first quick lap, putting him in fifth position.

When half an hour has past, Valtteri Bottas improved his time in first position to 1:30.853. Hamilton and Leclerc are in second and third position within three tenths of the Finn. Vettel (+0.689), Verstappen (+1.080) and Hülkenberg (+1.564) complete the top six. All times were set on soft tires.

 After this busy period follow some quieter times. But the quietness is ended with twenty minutes on the clock by Valtteri Bottas. The Mercedes driver has a new set of soft tires and improves his time again, this time to 1:30.159. His teammate Lewis Hamilton is very close with a 1:30.200. Also both Ferrari drivers improve their times, but Leclerc (P3) and Vettel (P4) are almost half a second short on the silver arrows.

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing does not perform well during the third free practice in Le Castellet. A dissatisfied Max Verstappen reports in the last session that he does not have any grip and suffers from both under- and oversteer. In the end the Dutchman comes 1.379 seconds short on Valtteri Bottas. Also Pierre Gasly does not come further then sixth position with a time of 1:31.599.

The session finishes without any significant incidents. Mercedes seems to call the shots again in France with a strong first and second position. Ferrari follows after more than four tenths in P3 and P4. Max Verstappen finishes the session in P5.

Qualifying for the French Grand Prix starts at 3PM.

French GP contest: win an orange G-Star MAXRAW T-shirt and metal VER keyring!

Results third free practice France:

1Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:30.159 18
2Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:30.200+0.041s15
3Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:30.605+0.446s15
4Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:30.633+0.474s13
5Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:31.538+1.379s11
6Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda1:31.599+1.440s14
7Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:31.654+1.495s14
8Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:31.802+1.643s12
9Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:31.887+1.728s14
10Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:31.943+1.784s16
11Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:32.023+1.864s15
12Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:32.171+2.012s15
13Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:32.178+2.019s16
14Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:32.385+2.226s15
15Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:32.400+2.241s13
16Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:32.491+2.332s15
17Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:32.540+2.381s22
18Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:32.678+2.519s14
19Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:33.902+3.743s21
20George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:39.987+9.828s4