Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ended up fastest in F1 Dutch GP FP3 session from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.
The F1 Dutch GP FP3 started with a different driver on the grid as Alfa Romeo replaced Kimi Raikkonen with Robert Kubica after the Finn was found to be COVID-19 positive. He completed the Thursday media sessions and also took part in FP1 and FP2.
However, a positive test on Saturday ruled him out for the rest of the weekend, with Kubica taking over, as the Polish driver returned to F1 for the first time since 2019 Abu Dhabi GP. It was also his first run with Swiss-based Sauber team since 2009 Abu Dhabi GP.
At the front, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen set the pace with a 1m09.623s after he got a bit of a tow from Sergio Perez in the final part of the lap. He ended up 0.556s faster than Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (1m10.179s), as Lewis Hamilton (1m10.417s) was third.
The other Red Bull of Perez (1m10.526s) was fourth with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso (1m10.670s) doing a solid job in fifth from McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m10.781s), as Aston Martin duo were seventh and eighth, in the Top 10.
It was Lance Stroll (1m10.842s) ahead of Sebastian Vettel (1m10.872s), with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (1m10.896s) in ninth from AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly (1m11.005s). Among this pack, Norris had a gravel run in Turn 9, while Vettel had his Turn 10, with Leclerc having to take escape road.
Just outside the Top 10 was McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, with Williams’ Nicholas Latifi doing well in 12th from Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, who lost some pace along with Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi in 15th behind Williams’ George Russell.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was 16th after his day ended early when he hit the barrier at Turn 3, having lost control in the left-hander. He caused the F1 weekend’s fourth red flag, as AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda ended up 17th despite a soft tyre run.
Haas’ Nikita Mazepin was 18th from Alfa Romeo’s Kubica, as the other Haas of Mick Schumacher ended up 20. The German couldn’t improve on his time on the soft tyres, when he went through the gravel – the same place his teammate spun in FP2.
The stewards, meanwhile, looked into the incident involving Verstappen from FP2, where the Dutchman overtook Stroll under red flag. He was summoned to explain the situation, where the stewards were happy and adjudged it to be no further action.
Here’s what the stewards said: “The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 33 (Max Verstappen) and the team representative. The Stewards having reviewed positioning/marshalling system data, telemetry, team radio and in-car and CCTV video. The Race Management System indicates that the red flag and red lights were initiated at 15:10:12. When VER passed Light Panel 14 (which is prior to the point of the overtake) it was not illuminated.
“As VER approached the rear of the car (within a few metres) of STR, the red light on VER’s steering wheel activated. At this point VER’s speed was 260 km/h and STR’s was 110km/h, a delta of 150 km/h. At this point, telemetry shows that VER immediately lifted and braked. Because of the speed delta, VER’s momentum carried him past STR. Simultaneously the Light Panel 15 (showing red) became visible to VER.
“At approximately 15:10:17 the team radioed VER “Red Flag”. It is our conclusion that the driver of Car 33 took every reasonable action to comply with the regulations in that he immediately reduced speed in a safe manner at the earliest opportunity upon the first indication of the red flag, even before a red flag or red light panel was visible to him, and that this satisfies the requirements of the Code (Art 220.127.116.11 b of Appendix H of the International Sporting Code).
Here’s what happened on Friday of F1 Dutch GP