Rain further disrupted the F1 Turkish GP as FP3 was nearly a washout with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Alexander Albon.
Adding to the misery of the track surface at Intercity Istanbul Park, the F1 Turkish GP FP3 sessions was more or less a washout, thanks to the wet weather conditions, making it difficult for the drivers to keep their cars straight and on the circuit.
In the 1-hour session, the F1 drivers did venture out for about 30 minutes, using both the intermediate and the wet weather tyres. It wasn’t the best of runs with multiple spins and offs, where many had near saves as well from the barrier.
The little running saw Red Bull’s Verstappen remain on the top for the third practice session in a row in F1 Turkish GP, with a 1m48.485s lap, as Ferrari’s Leclerc secured another Top 2 finish with a 1m49.430s lap ahead of Red Bull’s Alexander Albon (1m50.059s).
Leclerc was one of the F1 drivers to have a big save in the right-hander like McLaren’s Carlos Sainz. A much harder spin at the same corner was for Alfa Romeo Racing’s ANtonio Giovinazzi, who ventured out late in the session with Kimi Raikkonen.
They were not along in doing an exploratory lap towards the end with AlphaTauri pair of Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly along with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, also venturing out to assess the conditions before qualifying.
Moving back onto the standings, behind the Top 3, Renault’s Esteban Ocon (1m53.897s) was fourth from McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m53.995s), with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel (1m54.490s) in sixth and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez (1m55.577s) seventh.
There was a moment in the pits where Norris was released on the path of Perez as McLaren accepted blame for the same. The Top 10 was rounded out by Bottas (1m55.666s), Haas’ Kevin Magnussen (1m55.878s) and Racing Point’s Lance Stroll (1m56.824s).
Just outside the Top 10 was Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m58.475s) with Sainz (1m59.548s) 12th from Giovinazzi (2m02.325s) and Gasly (2m02.473s) as Haas’ Romain Grosjean (2m04.748s) was 15th with Raikkonen (2m006.351s) and Kvyat (2m09.368s) the last to set a time.
The drivers who missed to set a time in F1 Turkish GP were Williams’ George Russell & Nicholas Latifi and Hamilton – the trio were also the drivers to complete the least number of laps, with the former duo only doing an installation lap.
Going back about the findings from the Imola tyre failure for Verstappen, Pirelli’s Mario Isola detailed on not only the Dutchman’s issue but also added on the current investigation on the tyre of Hamilton, which was close to a failure as well.
“We made an investigation on the Verstappen’s tyre and the part of the tyre that we have been able to collect,” said Isola. “We found some cuts on the tread and the sidewall, both in inside and outside. We believe that the reason of the failure was damage on the centre of the tread that caused the damage on both the belts and the carcass plies.
“So the belts started to detach following this damage and at a certain point, when the carcass was not able to keep the load, we had the deflation that everybody saw on television. We shared the analysis with the FIA and the team and this is the evidence that we have.
“Obviously it is difficult to analyse a tyre that is in pieces but we sent immediately the tyre back from Imola to our laboratories in Milan and we did an investigation as a priority. As for Hamilton, I can confirm that we are analysing the tyre together with the team, so the findings will be shared with the team.
“There was no loss of pressure, just vibration increasing during the run. We are investigating the construction. Obviously in this case it is possible to investigate the tyre because it is available,” summed up Isola, as Toto Wolff, added:
“It started with a little vibration and we decided to pit the car also in order to not take any risks. It was something that isn’t yet understood. The tyre remained intact and was sent to Milan for analysis and we’re waiting for the results.”
Here’s what F1 drivers, Pirelli said after Friday in Turkish GP
Here’s Max Verstappen on RB16 troubles