Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2019

Leclerc completes practice sweep as Ferrari lead by a second

2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix third practice

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Charles Leclerc was fastest again in the third practice session for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, leading a Ferrari one-two ahead of qualifying.

Leclerc was almost two-tenths of a second faster than Sebastian Vettel, despite his team mate picking up the slipstream of Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso at the end of his quickest lap at the end of qualifying. Vettel made a last effort to unseat his team mate from the top spot, improving his time in the first sector, butran wide later in the lap.

None of Ferrari’s rivals were able to get within a second of the flying SF90s. The charge was led not by the usual Mercedes, but by Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, though he was 1.248s off Leclerc’s pace.

Valtteri Bottas led the Mercedes pair, who unlike Ferrari began the session on the medium compound tyres. After switching to the softs they remained around one-and-a-half seconds off the red cars, and Lewis Hamilton went up an escape road twice trying to better his time.

Toro Rosso underlined the potential of Honda’s upgraded power unit with Daniil Kvyat ‘best of the rest’ in sixth, two places ahead of team mate Alexander Albon. The pair were separated by Kevin Magnussen.

Pierre Gasly in the fourth Honda-powered car ended the session at the bottom of the times. His pit lane start penalty meant he had no reason to work on his single-lap pace.

Renault looked in slightly better shape than on Friday, but Daniel Ricciardo was kept out of the top 10 by Sergio Perez’s Racing Point and Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo. But the midfield was as close as ever – Ricciardo missed tenth place by two hundredths of a second.

The McLaren pair confirmed their Friday fears by ending the session outside the top 10, both drivers lapping in 1’43.9. George Russell completed his first meaningful laps in his new Williams chassis, but both the team’s drivers were one-and-a-half seconds off the next-slowest cars.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
116Charles LeclercFerrari1’41.60414
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1’41.8020.19814
333Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’42.8521.24816
477Valtteri BottasMercedes1’43.0641.46019
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’43.1761.57217
626Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’43.2231.61918
720Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’43.2941.69019
823Alexander AlbonToro Rosso-Honda1’43.3001.69619
911Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’43.4301.82615
107Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’43.5371.93319
113Daniel RicciardoRenault1’43.5611.95720
1299Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’43.6372.03320
134Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’43.9242.32020
1455Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’43.9782.37419
1518Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’44.0392.43516
1627Nico HulkenbergRenault1’44.0432.43919
178Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’44.3742.77016
1888Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’46.0004.39619
1963George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’46.2904.68620
2010Pierre GaslyRed Bull-Honda1’47.8366.23222

Third practice visual gaps

Charles Leclerc – 1’41.604

+0.198 Sebastian Vettel – 1’41.802

+1.248 Max Verstappen – 1’42.852

+1.460 Valtteri Bottas – 1’43.064

+1.572 Lewis Hamilton – 1’43.176

+1.619 Daniil Kvyat – 1’43.223

+1.690 Kevin Magnussen – 1’43.294

+1.696 Alexander Albon – 1’43.300

+1.826 Sergio Perez – 1’43.430

+1.933 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’43.537

+1.957 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’43.561

+2.033 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’43.637

+2.320 Lando Norris – 1’43.924

+2.374 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’43.978

+2.435 Lance Stroll – 1’44.039

+2.439 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’44.043

+2.770 Romain Grosjean – 1’44.374

+4.396 Robert Kubica – 1’46.000

+4.686 George Russell – 1’46.290

+6.232 Pierre Gasly – 1’47.836

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Charles LeclercFerrari1’47.4971’42.8721’41.604-1.26847
2Sebastian VettelFerrari1’49.5981’43.1961’41.802-1.39446
3Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’43.7931’42.852-0.94141
4Valtteri BottasMercedes1’44.0031’43.064-0.93950
5Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’43.5411’43.176-0.36548
6Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’44.1771’43.223-0.95428
7Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’44.9011’43.294-1.60745
8Alexander AlbonToro Rosso-Honda1’44.2161’43.300-0.91653
9Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’45.4361’43.430-2.00644
10Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’45.4821’43.537-1.94550
11Daniel RicciardoRenault1’45.4831’43.561-1.92236
12Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’45.3661’43.637-1.72952
13Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’44.2951’43.924-0.37153
14Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’44.1831’43.978-0.20547
15Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’47.8751’44.039-3.83625
16Nico HulkenbergRenault1’46.7171’44.043-2.67444
17Pierre GaslyRed Bull-Honda1’44.2401’47.836+3.59647
18Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’45.6181’44.374-1.24448
19Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’48.1111’46.000-2.11147
20George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’46.29023

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2019 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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5 comments on “Leclerc completes practice sweep as Ferrari lead by a second”

  1. Gasly was clearly just focusing on race-trim.

    1. That;s in the article, is it not?

      Pierre Gasly in the fourth Honda-powered car ended the session at the bottom of the times. His pit lane start penalty meant he had no reason to work on his single-lap pace.

  2. Hopefully it will stay something like this through Quali.
    For the sake of a genuine championship battle we need to see the Ferraris and/or Max grabbing some firsts and seconds I think.

    1. @nullapax I hope the positions stay the same, can’t say the same about the gap though.

  3. Shaping up well to be a Merc pole.

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