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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Russell heads last apply from Norris

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George Russell set the quickest time within the final Formulation 1 apply session of 2023 to beat Lando Norris in FP3 on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Russell overhauled an early benchmark from Sergio Perez to place his automobile on high with a 1m25.163s, and later elevated the tempo because the circuit improved over the course of the session; on his second soft-tyre run, he put collectively a 1m24.829s.

Regardless of a collection of challenges from different drivers as they labored their method by way of the soft-tyre allocations that had been left untouched throughout the oft-interrupted FP2, Russell upped the ante with a 1m24.418s to cement his place on the high.

With each qualifying and the race being held in night-time circumstances, the general circumstances had been unrepresentative of these set to be skilled over the remainder of the weekend. Nonetheless, it was no less than a chance for the drivers who had working hampered on Friday to realize a really feel for the circuit.

Throughout the second half of the session, Russell confronted renewed challenges from Esteban Ocon and Alex Albon; though the 2 set the higher opening pair of sectors, neither may match the Briton within the last sector. Albon fell a tenth wanting Russell’s earlier headliner, who then discovered extra time on one other run with a 1m24.418s.
Norris was near transferring previous his 2018 F2 title rival however suffered a slide on the kerb at Flip 16 and thus fell 0.095s brief as he simply held onto his sideways-aligned McLaren.
This was sufficient for the Bristol-born racer to gather second within the session over team-mate Oscar Piastri, who had set two occasions adequate for third place within the total order.

Photograph by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL60

Albon’s effort managed to face up towards a flurry of ultimate enhancements among the many Ferrari and Pink Bull drivers, locking the Anglo-Thai driver into fourth place having set the perfect opening pair of sectors of the session.
Ferrari had prioritised medium-tyre working all through the vast majority of the session and solely switched to the softs in the direction of the tip. FP2 chief Charles Leclerc tried to reclaim his place from Friday, however misplaced two-tenths in every sector to Russell’s benchmark and thus needed to be content material with the fifth quickest time – beating Max Verstappen by half a tenth.
Verstappen revealed that he was scuffling with a free rear-end, and felt that he was “sliding so much”  and bouncing as he was unable to maneuver previous Russell and Perez on his opening flying lap and fell half a second wanting the Mercedes driver’s tempo.

After Russell raised the bar, Verstappen sought to beat the brand new benchmark; regardless of setting a finest center sector, a shortfall within the last sector resulted in a half-second deficit as soon as once more. His 1m25.153s on the finish was sufficient to push Ocon right down to seventh, though arguably didn’t get the perfect from his tyres after aborting the earlier lap because of a wayward first sector. 

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Perez confirmed strongly in the beginning of his last timed lap however misplaced floor within the last sector and will solely place eleventh – simply 0.033s away from Lewis Hamilton.
Carlos Sainz was in a position to take part in FP3 after a rebuild to his Ferrari in a single day following his Friday crash however propped up the order as he encountered site visitors within the last sector of his finest soft-tyre lap.

Abu Dhabi GP FP3 outcomes 

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