Verstappen finishes fastest for Red Bull in FP3 for the Emilia Romagna GP at Imola. Norris (McLaren) and Hamilton (Mercedes) complete the top three. Red flag briefly brought out after Latifi goes off at Variante Villeneuve, but recovers back to the pits.
Full results from the final practice session at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Round 2 of the 2021 Formula 1 world championship.
2021 F1 EMILIA ROMAGNA GRAND PRIX – FREE PRACTICE RESULTS (3)
Max Verstappen bounced back from his Friday setback to finish comfortably clear of the field in final practice for Formula 1’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Verstappen, who sat out most of Friday afternoon’s session due to a driveshaft issue, clocked a time of 1:14.958s to finish almost half a second clear of McLaren’s Lando Norris.
In a scruffy final hour of running several drivers had off-track excursions, with some finding the gravel, while multiple lap times were deleted.
Drivers also sometimes struggled to find clear air for a lap at one of the shortest venues on the current calendar.
Verstappen was among the drivers to have a minor setback after bouncing heavily over the yellow kerbs at Acque Minerali but he recovered to the circuit to clock the fastest time.
McLaren – by its recent standards – had been subdued on Friday but Norris caught the eye on Saturday morning by classifying second overall.
Norris’ time pushed him ahead of World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who was 0.557s behind Verstappen, while Sergio Perez backed up Red Bull’s pace by taking fourth.
Ferrari underlined its gains by finishing fifth and seventh respectively, with Charles Leclerc in front of Carlos Sainz, as the pair sandwiched AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly.
Gasly was the only front-runner to clock his fastest effort on the Medium compound.
Valtteri Bottas was a subdued eighth, having had one quick effort erased for exceeding track limits, while Alpine rounded out the top 10, with Fernando Alonso ahead of Esteban Ocon.
Several drivers, including Alfa Romeo pair Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, had gravel-based excursions but only Williams’ Nicholas Latifi found the barriers.
Latifi skated wide exiting the Villeneuve chicane and nudged the wall, causing damage to the front wing, but was able to return to action and classify 17th.
Haas’ Mick Schumacher showed signs of improvement by taking 16th, between Williams duo George Russell and Latifi, and in the mix in the lower end of the midfield.
He was almost a full second clear of team-mate Nikita Mazepin, who had a lap time – which would have put him three-tenths adrift – deleted for track limits.
Elsewhere Daniel Ricciardo’s low-key weekend continued as he took only 13th, eight-tenths behind second-placed team-mate Norris, while Aston Martin also failed to trouble the lofty positions.
Lance Stroll was 12th, with Sebastian Vettel 14th.
VERSTAPPEN FASTEST FP3 IMOLA VERSTAPPEN FASTEST FP3 IMOLA
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FORMULA 1 BACK AT ISTANBUL PARK IN TURKEY
THE NEXT RACE 2021
|Bahrain ||26 Mar|
|14:30 - 15:30||Free practice 1|
|18:00 - 19:00||Free practice 2|
|15:00 - 16:00||Free practice 3|
|18:00 - 19:00||Qualifying|
|18:00 - 20:00||Race|
|Bahrain||57 laps||308.238 km|