Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Paul Ricard, 2019

Bottas pips Hamilton in Mercedes one-two

2019 French Grand Prix third practice

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Valtteri Bottas narrowly beat Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in the final practice session for the French Grand Prix.

On another hot day at Paul Ricard,with track temperatures rising past 50C, Mercedes were seldom headed during the final hour of running. There was little to choose between their two drivers, however: Hamilton was just four-hundredths of a second slower than Bottas, and his combined best sector times were fractionally quicker.

The pair had nearly half a second in hand over the Ferraris. These were led by Charles Leclerc, but there was almost nothing to separate him from his team mate either.

The Red Bulls were led as usual by Max Verstappen, who complained his tyres had lost all grip as he ended the session 1.3 seconds slower than the leading Mercedes. The RB15s were only slightly quicker than Lando Norris, who continued his strong showing for McLaren with the seventh-fastest time.

The Renault drivers left it until the final moments of practice to complete their final runs. Daniel Ricciardo, who unlike team mate Nico Hulkenberg is running with their new engine this weekend, split Norris from his team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr. Hulkenberg was told he had “two-tenths in hand” which would “put you P8, equivalent to where Danny is”. Kimi Raikkonen took the final place in the top 10.

The hot and somewhat patchwork track continued to catch drivers out, though there were more excursions onto the generous run-offs than actual spins. The only significant setback befell George Russell, whose Williams suffered a suspected power unit problem early in the session, forcing him into the pits.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes1’30.15918
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’30.2000.04115
316Charles LeclercFerrari1’30.6050.44615
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1’30.6330.47413
533Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’31.5381.37911
610Pierre GaslyRed Bull-Honda1’31.5991.44014
74Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’31.6541.49514
83Daniel RicciardoRenault1’31.8021.64312
955Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’31.8871.72814
107Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’31.9431.78416
1127Nico HulkenbergRenault1’32.0231.86415
1299Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’32.1712.01215
1323Alexander AlbonToro Rosso-Honda1’32.1782.01916
148Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’32.3852.22615
1520Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’32.4002.24113
1611Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’32.4912.33215
1726Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’32.5402.38122
1818Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’32.6782.51914
1988Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’33.9023.74321
2063George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’39.9879.8284

Third practice visual gaps

Valtteri Bottas – 1’30.159

+0.041 Lewis Hamilton – 1’30.200

+0.446 Charles Leclerc – 1’30.605

+0.474 Sebastian Vettel – 1’30.633

+1.379 Max Verstappen – 1’31.538

+1.440 Pierre Gasly – 1’31.599

+1.495 Lando Norris – 1’31.654

+1.643 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’31.802

+1.728 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’31.887

+1.784 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’31.943

+1.864 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’32.023

+2.012 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’32.171

+2.019 Alexander Albon – 1’32.178

+2.226 Romain Grosjean – 1’32.385

+2.241 Kevin Magnussen – 1’32.400

+2.332 Sergio Perez – 1’32.491

+2.381 Daniil Kvyat – 1’32.540

+2.519 Lance Stroll – 1’32.678

+3.743 Robert Kubica – 1’33.902

+9.828 George Russell – 1’39.987

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Valtteri BottasMercedes1’32.8071’30.9371’30.159-0.77872
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’32.7381’31.3611’30.200-1.16161
3Charles LeclercFerrari1’33.1111’31.5861’30.605-0.98167
4Sebastian VettelFerrari1’33.7901’31.6651’30.633-1.03267
5Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’33.6181’32.0491’31.538-0.51160
6Pierre GaslyRed Bull-Honda1’34.0911’32.4481’31.599-0.84963
7Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’34.1101’31.8821’31.654-0.22868
8Daniel RicciardoRenault1’34.5401’33.0201’31.802-1.21864
9Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’34.2611’32.4321’31.887-0.54567
10Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’35.5221’32.6771’31.943-0.73472
11Nico HulkenbergRenault1’34.8101’33.0811’32.023-1.05872
12Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’36.1021’32.9731’32.171-0.80271
13Alexander AlbonToro Rosso-Honda1’34.8041’33.0231’32.178-0.84576
14Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’37.6201’33.5911’32.385-1.20651
15Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’35.4101’32.7891’32.400-0.38962
16Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’34.8091’33.3001’32.491-0.80966
17Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’35.3261’33.2541’32.540-0.71483
18Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’35.0631’33.8841’32.678-1.20668
19Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’37.1721’35.1951’33.902-1.29380
20George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’34.6141’39.987+5.37337

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2019 French Grand Prix

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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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8 comments on “Bottas pips Hamilton in Mercedes one-two”

  1. I like where Renault and McLaren are. Might get some entertainment from them tomorrow.

    Not much entertainment up front unfortunately unless Bottas can maintain this performance over Lewis. I doubt if he will personally. I’m convinced Lewis always plays it cool until the very end of Qualifying.

    Interesting point from Jennie Gow on Radio 5 about the stands being pretty much empty. Ties in with Dieters observations.

    1. @nullapax

      Interesting point from Jennie Gow on Radio 5 about the stands being pretty much empty.

      I mean, looking at the state F1 is currently in, that’s not very surprising is it? Everyone already knew by FP1 that Mercedes is going to win this weekend.

      1. @kingshark Yeah but for the first time in a very long time there’s a French driver in a strong car. Theoretically Gasly’s podium is only a few DNF’s away. That’s why it’s surprising.

  2. This is depressing. I don’t have to have to deal with another Mercedes vs. Mercedes narrative throughout the season.

    1. @mashiat I know right! Why can’t Ferrari and/or Red Bull finally get their act together. Although Ferrari was fastest in Bahrain and Canada and they still gave it away, so it’s also on the drivers to finally keep their car out of the walls, other cars and on track.

      1. Luckily Hamilton didn’t lead the race or else we would have seen him ease off to the distance. When he could close up on Vettel from any distance (almost 5 seconds) and stay within 1 second fairly easily (until it becomes counterproductive) I have to agree with Vettel. Hamilton was faster just not fast enough in the areas needed to overtake safely. Another reason Hamilton is hard to beat. He won’t risk 18 going for a high risk 25 when it’s not necessary.

  3. Interesting to see the Red Bull vs McLaren vs Renault battle in quali. The latter two have clearly improved, but is it enough to challenge the last of the top three teams?

  4. Wow, RBR almost 1.4sec behind Mercedes! Scary. If it wasn’t for Ferrari, these last 3 seasons would have been the worst nightmare.

Comments are closed.