Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
28 days
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
51 days
09 May
Next event in
69 days
23 May
Race in
86 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
100 days
13 Jun
Race in
108 days
27 Jun
Race in
121 days
04 Jul
Next event in
125 days
18 Jul
Race in
142 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
156 days
29 Aug
Race in
184 days
05 Sep
Race in
191 days
12 Sep
Race in
198 days
26 Sep
Race in
212 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
216 days
10 Oct
Race in
226 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
241 days
31 Oct
Race in
248 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
268 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
283 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
289 days

Austrian GP: Leclerc fastest again in FP3

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc pipped the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton to set the pace in the final Formula 1 practice session before qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

shares
comments
Austrian GP: Leclerc fastest again in FP3

Leclerc was the only driver to lap below 1m04s at the Red Bull Ring as FP3 set up an enticing Ferrari vs Mercedes battle for pole position.

Bahrain poleman Leclerc had control of the 60-minute session throughout and enjoyed a comfortable advantage after the first runs.

His 1m04.275s left him almost four tenths clear of the lead Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, who had a tiny advantage over Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Hamilton.

Bottas moved to the top of the times on his first flying lap on a second set of new soft tyres, eclipsing Leclerc’s time by half a tenth.

However, Leclerc improved twice on his second run and ended on a 1m03.987s – with his second lap, a 1m04.120s, also good enough for top spot.

Hamilton lapped 0.010s slower than Leclerc initially but ended the session 0.143s behind after failing to improve again.

He was a tenth clear of Bottas, with the second Ferrari of Vettel 0.263s slower than his teammate in fourth.

Verstappen slipped to fifth in the lead Red Bull although did not hook up his best sectors.

He was 0.459s slower than Leclerc after failing to improve in the final part of the lap on his first new-tyre run, and then aborting a quicker lap shortly after – complaining that “the changes we made are not good”.

Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly had a troubled start to the session when he reported “really low power” and spent the opening phase of FP3 in the pits.

However, he emerged with enough time to completely two runs as normal, but ended up only seventh and 1.2s off the pace.

That gap allowed Lando Norris to split the Red Bulls in his McLaren, which was just within a second of Leclerc’s best – 0.999s off the pace.

His teammate Carlos Sainz Jr finished the session eighth-fastest, ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo and the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat.

Half a second covered Sainz in eighth to Lance Stroll's Racing Point in 16th.

Haas endured a difficult session, with its cars 15th (Romain Grosjean) and 18th (Kevin Magnussen). The team also needs to change the gearbox on Magnussen's car before qualifying, which will hand the Dane a five-place grid penalty.

Session results

Cla # Driver Chassis Engine Laps Time Gap
1 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari Ferrari 18 1'03.987
2 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes Mercedes 21 1'04.130 0.143
3 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes Mercedes 23 1'04.221 0.234
4 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari Ferrari 20 1'04.250 0.263
5 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull Honda 18 1'04.446 0.459
6 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren Renault 19 1'04.986 0.999
7 10 France Pierre Gasly
Red Bull Honda 15 1'05.152 1.165
8 55 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
McLaren Renault 22 1'05.219 1.232
9 99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo Ferrari 17 1'05.336 1.349
10 26 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
Toro Rosso Honda 25 1'05.391 1.404
11 23 Thailand Alex Albon
Toro Rosso Honda 29 1'05.481 1.494
12 27 Germany Nico Hulkenberg
Renault Renault 21 1'05.514 1.527
13 7 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo Ferrari 21 1'05.514 1.527
14 11 Mexico Sergio Perez
Racing Point Mercedes 18 1'05.523 1.536
15 8 France Romain Grosjean
Haas Ferrari 20 1'05.620 1.633
16 18 Canada Lance Stroll
Racing Point Mercedes 17 1'05.650 1.663
17 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Renault Renault 19 1'05.878 1.891
18 20 Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Haas Ferrari 11 1'06.017 2.030
19 63 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams Mercedes 23 1'06.676 2.689
20 88 Poland Robert Kubica
Williams Mercedes 23 1'07.484 3.497
Austrian GP qualifying as it happened

Previous article

Austrian GP qualifying as it happened

Next article

F1 could use prototype 2020 tyres in 2019 races

F1 could use prototype 2020 tyres in 2019 races
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Austrian GP
Author Scott Mitchell
The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans Prime

Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans

Alfa Romeo launched its C41 with a revised front nose, but there's little to suggest it will surge up the leaderboard in 2021. As the team frankly admits, it's putting its eggs in the basket labelled 2022 and hoping to hold the eighth place it earned last year

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse Prime

Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse

Red Bull opted not to re-sign Pierre Gasly even before it decided to drop Alex Albon and so the Frenchman's Formula 1 journey will continue at AlphaTauri. This has positive and negative connotations for one of last season's star performers.

Formula 1
Feb 20, 2021
Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021 Prime

Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021

After seven years of defeat at the hands of Mercedes, Red Bull is as hungry as ever to secure a fifth world championship. But there are key challenges it must overcome in 2021 to switch from challenger to conqueror

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021
How AlphaTauri has adapted to F1's new rules Prime

How AlphaTauri has adapted to F1's new rules

AlphaTauri launched its AT02, complete with a new livery, as it bids to home in on an already-tight midfield battle. Although there were few outright new parts displayed on the launch render, there might be a few clues into further changes down the line…

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021