Leclerc ahead of Russell and Verstappen in third practice for the Dutch Grand Prix

Leclerc ahead of Russell and Verstappen in third practice for the Dutch Grand Prix
Leclerc ahead of Russell and Verstappen in third practice for the Dutch Grand Prix
Charles Leclerc, photo Ferrari

Charles Leclerc was fastest in the third free practice session for the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix. The Scuderia Ferrari driver set the fastest lap in 1:11.632 min. Second at 66 thousandths finished George Russell with Mercedes, third 0.161 behind. Sec. world champion Max Verstappen with Red Bull remained.

The second day of the race weekend at Zandvoort started with sunny and dry weather. The air temperature was 23 degrees Celsius, and that of the asphalt – 29. The atmosphere in the large number of stands around the track was again at a high level.

Sergio Perez was the first on the track. The Red Bull driver has struggled since the start of the weekend in the Netherlands. Apart from him, the Aston Martin and Alfa Tauri competitors were on the track. Perez recorded the first lap time of this session in 1:13.792 min on soft tyres.

Perez set another fast lap and improved his performance despite experiencing problems with the car’s balance. Meanwhile, Verstappen and Hamilton also took to the track.

15 minutes after the start of the third free practice in Zandvoort, Verstappen held the first position with a time of 1:12.309 min. The Dutchman was followed by Russell, Schumacher, Sainz, Leclerc and Hamilton.

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Traffic was again a big problem for all competitors. Hamilton complained over the radio about Tsunoda’s car thwarting his attempt at a faster lap.

After 1/2 of the final practice session in the Netherlands, Verstappen still led ahead of Leclerc, Hamilton, Sainz, Russell, Stroll, Schumacher, Vettel, Perez and Magnussen. More cars used soft tyres, with the exception of Alpine, McLaren, Alfa Tauri and Alfa Romeo, which ran Pirelli medium-hard compounds.

In the second half of practice, Ferrari mechanics worked on Leclerc’s car while Sainz pitted. Albon recorded third time after completing a clean lap with no traffic. At the same time, Sainz topped the classification with 1:11.971 min.

As the final practice progressed, the Zandvoort circuit became increasingly fast and enjoyable to ride. This allowed the pilots to improve their achievements by more than half a second. Leclerc took the lead with 1:11.632 min., while behind him was Russell, only 66 thousand. The Brit continues to show excellent pace behind the wheel of the Mercedes car.

By the end of the session, Verstappen and Perez made several unsuccessful attempts to improve on Leclerc’s lap. The Ferrari driver thus remained fastest before qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix. Russell and Verstappen finished closest to him. Fourth place went to fellow Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, followed by Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Sergio Perez (Red Bull). The remaining positions in the top 10 were occupied by Fernando Alonso (Alpin), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Mick Schumacher (Haas) and Lando Norris (McLaren).

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