Red Bull’s Max Verstappen topped FP3 of F1 French GP from Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, with Lewis Hamilton in fifth.

It was cloudy weather in FP3 of F1 French GP at Paul Ricard, as teams waited nearly 10 minutes to get started due to them preserving their tyres for qualifying. The limited number of medium sets was key in this decision.

From the FIA side, they stuck to the sausage kerbs in the final corner, despite teams complaining, while the Race Director added Turn 6 on the track limits abuse list. It made the difference immediately, where multiple had their laps deleted by going off.

The fight at the front was on between Red Bull’s Verstappen and the Mercedes duo, with the Dutchman leading the way in F1 French GP FP3 session with a 1m31.300s lap to get ahead of Mercedes’ Bottas (1m32.047s), with Hamilton (1m32.266s) only fifth.

The Brit was pipped by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz (1m32.195s) in third and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez (1m32.238s), with the Spaniard setting a surprise third-best time. The Top 5 ended up with a second of Verstappen’s time, with the Dutchman ending his run early.

McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m32.366s) was back on pace in sixth, where the Alpine duo kept up their pace in seventh and eighth, with Fernando Alonso (1m32.624s) ahead of Esteban Ocon (1m32.681s). They pushed AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly (1m32.707s) to ninth.

The Top 10 was then rounded out by McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m32.759s), with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc only 11th after some troubled runs. Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi showed good pace in 12th from Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

The Canadian led teammate Sebastian Vettel, with Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen 15th from Williams’ George Russell, where AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda got sandwiched in between, with Nicholas Latifi in 18th, ahead of the two Haas F1 drivers.

Among multiple drivers, Tsunoda had a lot of his fast laps deleted due to track limits in Turn 6. At the back, Haas’ Mick Schumacher led Nikita Mazepin, where the latter had a half spin in the final corner at the start of the F1 French GP FP3 session.

Here’s what they said about Friday in F1 French GP