The third and final free practice session of the Australian Grand Prix took place in Melbourne, at the Albert Park circuit. Drivers and teams were able to prepare for qualifying, which will take place at 8am French time, and tomorrow’s race.
The FIA said removal of the fourth DRS zone, which had been added in the new rapid section along the lake in Albert Park. The configuration of the activation zones therefore returns to what it was before.
Lando Norris set a first benchmark of 1:21.247 on soft tyres. He was quickly overtaken by Max Verstappen, who set a time of 1:21.178 on medium tyres. The Dutchman was quickly overtaken by his Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez in 1’21″024 in the middle.
Charles Leclerc put his Ferrari at the top of the pecking order, thanks to a time of 1:20.689 on soft rubber. The Scuderia were the most impressive team yesterday, but Red Bull looked to be back at the top this Saturday by the morning.
George Russell set only the fifth fastest time on soft tyres, while Pérez regained control in 1’20″436. Valtteri Bottas then moved ahead of Leclerc on soft tyres, in 1’20″517.
Carlos Sainz then set the fastest time with 1’20″390, and Daniel Ricciardo seemed to understand his McLaren better by missing nine thousandths of the Spaniard. Fernando Alonso put everyone in agreement and placed himself at the top of the time table with 1’20” 119.
Confirming the difficulty of keeping his Mercedes W13 on track, Lewis Hamilton sped through the gravel traps, only slightly touching the tire barrier. Shortly after, Sebastian Vettel lost control of his Aston Martin on the exit of Turn 10 and crashed into the TecPro barrier.
The front wing and the left front semi-axle of the German’s AMR22 were destroyed and Vettel, who did not drive in EL2 after his engine failure in EL1, saw his free practice finish after twenty laps in total. He raised the red flag.
After more than ten minutes of interruption, the session resumed with 29 minutes on the clock. Many drivers were waiting outside the pits when the light turned green.
Bottas set the fourth fastest time but missed his final sector, having overtaken the first two. Norris took third place, but it was above all Alonso who improved on his best time of 1’19″906, while Leclerc had returned to a thousandth of a second behind the Spanish driver.
Verstappen seemed wary of his spin and explained that he couldn’t “feel the balance” of the RB18 for the moment. Pérez put the other Red Bull at the top of the hierarchy with 1’19″720.
But Alonso did not give up and immediately regained control in 1’19.660s. Russell improved his time after a small run off the track on the previous lap, but the Mercedes F1 driver was far from the best in the position. eleven.
Leclerc was in second position, 43 thousandths behind Alonso, and Pérez had the best time with 1’19.458. The track was improving, and Verstappen was fourth with 1’19.809, the only one on medium tyres.
Hamilton was eighth with the absolute best time in the first sector. The Mercedes W13 seemed to struggle in the fast sections, still plagued by hard-to-control porpoises.
Russell finally managed a smooth lap and moved up to fifth, while Sainz took the lead in 1’19.419. Pierre Gasly, discreet from the start of the weekend, remained 13th behind only Esteban Ocon.
With ten minutes to go in the session, the McLaren drivers moved up the hierarchy. Ricciardo was fourth fastest, before Norris set an impressive 1m19.117s on a changeable track. The Woking outfit seemed to be improving on their MCL36.
Verstappen eventually put on the soft tires but aborted his first flying lap, and Alonso moved up the pecking order by moving up to second, 0.158s off Norris’s fastest time. This EL3 finish was unnerving as to the forces present in this Aussie. GP
Verstappen aborted his second fastest lap on softs at the first corner, after an error caused by oversteer. For his part, Sainz made a mistake at turn 10 of the Albert Park track.
The session took a catastrophic turn for Aston Martin F1 with an accident involving Lance Stroll, who nearly hit the wall and also ripped the right front suspension off his AMR22.
Norris therefore finished these EL3s in the lead ahead of Leclerc, who improved five minutes from the end of the session. Pérez is third ahead of Alonso, Sainz, Ricciardo and Verstappen, who therefore did not have a fast lap on the soft tyres.
Hamilton is eighth ahead of Bottas, Yuki Tsunoda and Russell. Gasly and Ocon remain ahead of Mick Schumacher and Guanyu Zhou. Alex Albon is 16th ahead of Kevin Magnussen and Nicholas Latifi, with 18th less than two seconds behind Norris. Stroll is 19 ahead of Vettel, a terrible situation for Aston Martin.
|01||lando norris||McLarenMercedes MCL36||1:19,117||12|
|02||Charles Leclerc||ferrari f1-75||1:19,249||fifteen|
|03||sergio perez||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:19,265||17|
|04||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A522||1:19,275||fifteen|
|05||Carlos Sainz||ferrari f1-75||1:19,419||17|
|06||Daniel Ricciardo||McLarenMercedes MCL36||1:19,693||14|
|07||max verstappen||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:19,809||sixteen|
|08||Lewis Hamilton||mercedes w13||1:19,896||13|
|09||Valtteri Bottas||alfa romeo ferrari c42||1:20,008||17|
|10||yukitsunoda||Alpha Tauri RBPT AT03||1:20,074||12|
|eleven||george russell||mercedes w13||1:20,096||sixteen|
|12||pierre gasley||Alpha Tauri RBPT AT03||1:20,133||14|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A522||1:20,205||14|
|14||Mike Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:20,692||17|
|fifteen||Guanyu Zhou||alfa romeo ferrari c42||1:20,836||sixteen|
|sixteen||alex albon||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:20,958||sixteen|
|17||kevin magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:21.025||14|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:21,050||14|
|19||spear ride||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:21,636||eleven|
|twenty||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||– :—-||5|