Turkish GP FP3 Report: Slippery Conditions Leave Hamilton & Verstappen in a Lurch Ahead of Qualifying

Published 10/09/2021, 6:06 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 9, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Murad Sezer


Ahead of what could be an exciting qualifying session, drivers took part in the final practice session of the Turkish GP. While Friday saw a dry track, today’s FP3 session saw a wet track, with teams switching between wet and intermediate tires.

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Amidst the tricky weather conditions, Red Bull finished ahead of Mercedes in this session. However, Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri produced the biggest shock of the session.

Gasly tops the last practice session of the Turkish GP

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Gasly produced a stunning lap on the intermediate tires to shoot straight to the top of the timesheets. He finished just under two-tenths ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who seemed to take to the wet track very well.

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 9, 2021 AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly in action during practice REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Sergio Perez, who hopes to make a mark in qualifying later today, finished two-tenths behind Gasly in third. Although Lewis Hamilton put a solid lap early in the session, he sat out a fair chunk of it, finishing P18 in this session.

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The Briton will serve a 10-place grid penalty for changing his internal combustion engine this weekend. Valtteri Bottas finished highest among teams with Mercedes engines, taking P9. Despite their results in FP3, expect the championship protagonists to battle for pole later on today.

Ferrari continue fine form in Turkey

The Italian outfit saw Carlos Sainz take P4, with Charles Leclerc just behind him in P5. One may think the track suits Ferrari, given their consistency across the three practice sessions so far.

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Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 9, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during practice REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Their key rivals, McLaren struggled in the session as Daniel Ricciardo finished P13 while Lando Norris finished P14. Fernando Alonso produced a stunning lap in the Alpine, finishing the session P6. Kimi Raikkonen finished P7, ahead of Gasly’s AlphaTauri teammate Yuki Tsunoda, who finished eighth.

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Sanket Nair

761 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 & US Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He began following F1 since 2010, which made him an instant Sebastian Vettel fan. His favorite tracks on the calendar include Spa-Francorchamps, Monaco and Monza.

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