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Portuguese GP: Bottas completes F1 practice sweep at Portimao in FP3

Luke Smith
·4-min read
Bottas completes Portuguese F1 practice sweep in FP3
Bottas completes Portuguese F1 practice sweep in FP3

Valtteri Bottas completed a clean sweep of Formula 1 practice sessions for the Portuguese Grand Prix after edging out Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton for top spot in FP3.

Bottas headed the timesheets in both FP1 and FP2 at Portimao, and was able to maintain his advantage over Hamilton in the final practice session on Saturday morning.

After both Mercedes drivers reported a lack of grip and struggles getting up to speed at Portimao on Friday, they were quickly able to beat the benchmark set during a messy second practice session that was interrupted by red flags and stoppages.

Bottas and Hamilton opted to focus on soft compound tyre running through the session, trading fastest times back and forth.

Hamilton was able to set the initial pace for Mercedes, only for Bottas to hit back and ultimately set a time of 1m16.654s to edge out his team-mate by 0.026 seconds.

Although the lap was set with 25 minutes remaining in the session, it was enough to give Bottas P1 as drivers focused on higher fuel runs towards the end of FP3.

Hamilton lost one of his final qualifying simulations on the soft compound tyre after making a mistake at Turn 8, causing him to run into the gravel.

Max Verstappen was left to settle for third place for Red Bull, but briefly took top spot after beating Hamilton's initial benchmark, only for his time to be deleted after he exceeded track limits at Turn 1.

Bottas completes Portuguese F1 practice sweep in FP3
Bottas completes Portuguese F1 practice sweep in FP3

The Dutchman ultimately finished the session 0.158 seconds shy of Bottas' time, albeit setting his best lap on the medium compound tyre.

A number of drivers running on the soft tyres reported they were struggling with tyre warm up, continuing the trend from yesterday's practice running that saw most set a fastest time on their second flying lap of a run.

Pierre Gasly bounced back from his fiery end to Friday's running by finishing fourth for AlphaTauri, lapping within three-tenths of a second of Bottas' fastest time.

Alexander Albon took fifth in the sister Red Bull car, two-tenths back from team-mate Verstappen, while Charles Leclerc led Ferrari's charge in sixth. Leclerc suffered one early spin at Turn 14, and reported late in the session that he could hear Hamilton's team radio in the cockpit.

McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz Jr and Lando Norris took seventh and ninth place respectively, split by the Racing Point of Sergio Perez, while Esteban Ocon rounded out the top 10 for Renault.

Sebastian Vettel finish 11th for Ferrari, half a second back from team-mate Leclerc. Vettel reported a loose drain cover he had run over at the exit of Turn 14 late in the session, meaning FP3 was red flagged with one minute remaining on the clock which meant the session did not resume.

Vettel was followed by the AlphaTauri of Daniil Kvyat in 12th place and Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen in 13th.

Bottas completes Portuguese F1 practice sweep in FP3
Bottas completes Portuguese F1 practice sweep in FP3

Daniel Ricciardo could only finish 14th for Renault after reporting an issue with DRS on his car, bringing his session to an early end as he only completed 13 laps.

George Russell took 15th for Williams ahead of Lance Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi, followed by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen in 18th. Nicholas Latifi and Romain Grosjean propped up the timesheets in 19th and 20th respectively.

F1 Portuguese Grand Prix - FP3 results

Pos

Driver

Team

Gap

1

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

1m16.654s

2

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

0.026s

3

Max Verstappen

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

0.158s

4

Pierre Gasly

Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda

0.276s

5

Alexander Albon

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

0.463s

6

Charles Leclerc

Scuderia Ferrari

0.575s

7

Carlos Sainz Jr.

McLaren F1 Team

0.584s

8

Sergio Perez

BWT Racing Point F1 Team

0.643s

9

Lando Norris

McLaren F1 Team

0.824s

10

Esteban Ocon

Renault DP World F1 Team

1.012s

11

Sebastian Vettel

Scuderia Ferrari

1.031s

12

Daniil Kvyat

Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda

1.066s

13

Kimi Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN

1.268s

14

Daniel Ricciardo

Renault DP World F1 Team

1.281s

15

George Russell

Williams Racing

1.378s

16

Lance Stroll

BWT Racing Point F1 Team

1.446s

17

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN

1.547s

18

Kevin Magnussen

Haas F1 Team

1.633s

19

Nicholas Latifi

Williams Racing

1.743s

20

Romain Grosjean

Haas F1 Team

1.800s

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