Styrian GP FP3 Report: Hamilton Leads Verstappen Ahead of Intense Qualifying Showdown

Published 06/26/2021, 7:10 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Styria, Austria – June 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger


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.

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The top of the timesheets highlighted the Red Bull-Mercedes battle, with the Silver Arrows edging out the Austrian outfit. Lewis Hamilton asserted himself at the top of the timesheets, with Max Verstappen falling just short of the Briton.

Among the midfield contenders, Italian outfits Ferrari and AlphaTauri made a strong case to top the midfield battle this weekend.

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Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes’ resurgence in FP3 at the Styrian GP

The Briton topped the timesheets in 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.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Styria, Austria – June 25, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

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.

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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 the top spot, AlphaTauri could upset the established contenders in the midfield battle.

Qualifying in the Styrian GP will begin at 3:00 pm local time and 1:00 pm GMT.

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Sanket Nair

302 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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