Valtteri Bottas a mené Lewis Hamilton alors que le peloton de Formule 1 a finalement commencé les essais du Grand Prix de l’Eifel samedi matin au Nurburgring, et Ferrari a impressionné.
Having lost all of Friday to fog, the field made ample use of their sole hour of practice in what should have been the third session of the weekend.
F1 EIFEL GP FP3 : It was a much busier than FP3 than normal in terms of laps completed and cars on track early, and featured a much greater variety of different programmes with several drivers immediately on multi-lap runs.
THIRD FREE PRACTICE – EIFEL
|1||Valtteri BOTTAS||Mercedes||1: 26,225|
|2||Lewis HAMILTON||Mercedes||1: 26,361|
|3||Charles LECLERC||Ferrari||1: 26,681|
|4||Max VERSTAPPEN||Red Bull||1: 26,896|
|5||Sebastian VETTEL||Ferrari||1: 27,038|
|6||Lando NORRIS||McLaren||1: 27,167|
|7||Sergio PÉREZ||Racing Point||1: 27,245|
|8||Daniel RICCIARDO||Renault||1: 27,392|
|9||Alexander ALBON||Red Bull||1: 27.449|
|10||Pierre GASLY||Alpha Tauri||1: 27,528|
|11||Esteban OCON||Renault||1: 27,634|
|12||Daniil KVYAT||Alpha Tauri||1: 27,795|
|13||Carlos SAINZ||McLaren||1: 27,924|
|14||Kimi RÄIKKÖNEN||Alfa Romeo||1: 27,956|
|15||Romain GROSJEAN||Haas||1: 28,115|
|16||Kevin MAGNUSSEN||Haas||1: 28.293|
|17||George RUSSELL||Williams||1: 28,343|
|18||Antonio GIOVINAZZI||Alfa Romeo||1: 28,370|
|19||Nicholas LATIFI||Williams||1: 28,941|
|20||Lance STROLL||Racing Point|
There were also plenty of mistakes – more than half the grid got flagged up for going off or exceeding track limits.
Max Verstappen was fastest at first during the medium-tyre runs, but Bottas took charge with a 1m26.225s during the later qualifying preparation on softs.
Hamilton had to abandon an initial soft-tyre effort due to yellow flags for a Nicholas Latifi spin, leaving him down in fourth.
An improvement later in that run brought him up to second, 0.136s behind Bottas.
Verstappen ended up fourth, between the two Ferraris – as the Italian team showed some of its best form of the year.
As well as Charles Leclerc surging to third, Sebastian Vettel took fifth place.
That was despite a messy start to Vettel’s morning that included a lap being deleted and a spin out of the chicane.
Lando Norris completed the top six for McLaren, ahead of the sole Racing Point in the session.
Sergio Perez was representing the team alone due to Lance Stroll being sidelined by illness, a situation announced by Racing Point 10 minutes into the session.
Nico Hulkenberg – who stood in for Perez at Racing Point when the Mexican had COVID-19 during the two Silverstone races – is on site at the Nurburgring.
Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault, Alex Albon’s Red Bull and Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri completed the top 10.
Both Williams had dramatic spins during the hour. George Russell lost control on the exit of the chicane and snapped into a spin across the left-hand side grass, while team-mate Latifi lost control at the final corner.
Latifi initially looked like he might have beached the car but got its rear wheels out of the gravel, that appeared at risk of running out of room to turn around and rejoin, but managed to do so.
The yellows for that incident had a significant affect on the order, coming out just as many drivers were on final soft-tyre runs.
With vastly-improved visibility there were no concerns through the morning of a repeat of Friday’s inaction, when low-lying fog grounded the medical helicopter and prevented the sessions from starting.
The nearest hospital to the Nurburgring is 54km away, making it unreachable by car within the FIA’s 20-minute transfer limit.
Though the forecast was expected to be better for Saturday anyway, the FIA has put in place a back-up plan to avoid taking chances over the competitive part of the weekend.
It has created a landing area about 3km from the circuit allowing a circuit ambulance and a helicopter to meet at a lower altitude where fog does not usually form.
This will allow the helicopter to take off and continue transferring a patient to the hospital within the 20-minute limit.
F1 EIFEL GP FP3 BOTTAS LEADS HULKENBERG LINED UP TO REPLACE STROLL F1 EIFEL GP FP3 BOTTAS LEADS HULKENBERG LINED UP TO REPLACE STROLL
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|Portugal ||25 Oct|
|10h00 - 11h30||Free practice 1|
|14h00 - 15h30||Free practice 2|
|11h00 - 12h00||Free practice 3|
|14h00 - 15h00||Qualification|
|14h10 - 16h10||Race|