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Friday, February 23, 2024

Verstappen leads FP3 from Perez, Alonso third

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Having headed the opening pair of observe classes on Friday, Verstappen showcased extra glorious tempo on Saturday afternoon with early laborious tyre runs, previous to a flurry of laps on the softest compound that culminated in his headline 1m28.485s time.

This was effectively away from fellow Purple Bull driver Perez, and regardless of the Mexican’s enchancment forward of the ultimate 5 minutes, the resultant 1m29.098s was nonetheless significantly far-off from Verstappen’s efforts.

Aston Martin was the one keen participant in a sluggish opening 10 minutes to the session which, regardless of being significantly extra overcast in comparison with Friday’s working, was nonetheless pegged at 27 levels C.

Neither set a aggressive laptime, as Stroll struggled with a radio subject, earlier than the impasse was damaged 10 minutes in with the looks of the McLarens, Nico Hulkenberg, and the Alpines.

Oscar Piastri kicked off proceedings with a 1m32.531s, however was brushed apart by Hulkenberg’s 1m32.449s. Pierre Gasly then catapulted his automotive to the highest of the shortened timesheets with a 1m30.718s, joined by Alpine team-mate Esteban Ocon, earlier than the 2 have been cut up by a lap from Verstappen – who ran on the laborious tyre relative to the Alpine duo’s softs.

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The Mercedes duo then emerged and sprung to the highest of the pile; George Russell logged a 1m30.476s on mushy boots and edged Lewis Hamilton by simply 0.016s.

Gasly vaulted to the highest once more with a 1m30.161s, earlier than Verstappen hammered in a 1m29.882s to proceed his spectacular tempo on the toughest compound to throw down the gauntlet to the remainder of the sphere.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

His former team-mate Gasly received shut with a 1m29.935s on one other run with softs earlier than Verstappen prolonged his lead by simply over a tenth, however Sergio Perez swung in with a 1m29.417s to eclipse his team-mate by three tenths of a second.

Persevering with on his laborious tyres, Verstappen closed the hole right down to 0.132s having improved his run through the center sector of the lap, however couldn’t chisel Perez away from first place.

Russell then appeared good to problem to the front-runners after setting the quickest opening sector, however misplaced time within the subsequent sectors on the mushy tyres and emerged behind the Alpines on the timing board.

There was little change within the order over the subsequent quarter-hour as groups waited for the observe temperature to fall in direction of the tip of the session. As soon as the observe fell under 40 levels, Gasly was capable of bolt on new softs and submit a 1m29.701s to shut up on the Purple Bull pair, and Hamilton then cut up the Alpines as Ocon suffered a second on his subsequent scorching lap.

Perez then had the chance to increase his benefit and duly did so with a 1m29.127s, going quickest within the opening pair of sectors to sit down 0.45s up on his earlier greatest earlier than lacking the apex within the closing flip.

Alonso fired his Aston Martin as much as third for a quick spell, till Hamilton moved forward of his 2007 McLaren team-mate moments later, previous Verstappen’s first run of the session on softs.

The Dutchman ticked off all three sectors, dousing the timing board in purple to submit a 1m28.756s to sit down 0.371s away from Perez.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Sergio Perez, Purple Bull Racing RB19

Photograph by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Stroll had a tilt on new softs, however could not even break inside three-quarters of a second of Verstappen – who was going even faster within the meantime and raised the bar with a 1m28.660s after a cooldown lap.

The double world champion spooled up for one more run, enhancing his opening and closing sectors even additional to seize his final 1m28.485s benchmark.

Alonso leapfrogged Stroll to go third quickest, albeit practically a full second away from Verstappen’s greatest, whereas Hamilton occupied fifth general.

Ferrari languished on the backside of the timesheets by means of a lot of the session, having targeted on the medium tyre early on, however Charles Leclerc’s late lap on the softs was ok for sixth general.

McLaren duo Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri have been separated by simply 0.008s in seventh and eighth spot, whereas Gasly’s early promise might solely convert into the ninth-fastest time.

Carlos Sainz, like Leclerc, went for his greatest lap late on to interrupt into the highest 10, shifting forward of Russell moments earlier than the chequered flag.

Nyck de Vries didn’t participate within the session following an engine change, and the AlphaTauri crew didn’t have his automotive able to go within the session.

The Italian squad propped up the order as Yuki Tsunoda was slowest – albeit having solely used the medium compound all through the session, and the Japanese additionally copped a black-and-white flag for failing to comply with race administrators’ directions. Alonso additionally picked up the identical warning.

Full FP3 outcomes:

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