Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2019

Verstappen leads Vettel and Norris in final practice

2019 United States Grand Prix third practice

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Max Verstappen returned to the top of the times in the final practice session for the United States Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver, who headed first practice at the track yesterday, set a best time of 1’33.305, fractionally slower than Lewis Hamilton’s best time from Friday.

The Mercedes drivers weren’t able to replicate their Friday pace. Valtteri Bottas set a best lap of 1’33.904, which stood despite him activating the timing loop at the exit of turn 19 intended to detect when drivers have run too far wide.

“On the previous lap we triggered the loop at 19 but the tyres were still on the red-and-white,” his engineer explained. “So far the time is standing.” It stood until the end of the session and was the best time the team managed.

It was, however, slower than Sebastian Vettel managed in the Ferrari and also slower than a remarkable effort by Lando Norris, which put his McLaren third. He was told he had more time to find at turn one on the entry, though he said the bumps were making it hard to pick his line.

Vettel was the only Ferrari driver to set a time. Charles Leclerc was told to stop his car on his first lap out of the pits, not far from the pit lane entrance. His team advised him the car was “safe” as he climbed out.

Alexander Albon was two-thirds of a second off his team mate in sixth, followed by Carlos Sainz Jnr in the second of the McLarens. Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo, Pierre Gasly’s Toro Rosso and Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault meant the top 10 featured seven different cars.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
133Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’33.30513
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1’33.5230.21817
34Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’33.8180.51314
477Valtteri BottasMercedes1’33.9040.59917
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’33.9230.61816
623Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’33.9830.67814
755Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’34.4081.10315
87Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’34.5131.20818
910Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’34.5171.21214
103Daniel RicciardoRenault1’34.7741.46911
1127Nico HulkenbergRenault1’34.7841.47911
1218Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’34.7921.48714
138Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’34.8491.54417
1426Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’35.1291.82416
1520Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’35.3052.00014
1699Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’35.9562.65115
1763George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’36.2562.95115
1888Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’36.6283.32317
1911Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’38.4265.12122
2016Charles LeclercFerrari

Third practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’33.305

+0.218 Sebastian Vettel – 1’33.523

+0.513 Lando Norris – 1’33.818

+0.599 Valtteri Bottas – 1’33.904

+0.618 Lewis Hamilton – 1’33.923

+0.678 Alexander Albon – 1’33.983

+1.103 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’34.408

+1.208 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’34.513

+1.212 Pierre Gasly – 1’34.517

+1.469 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’34.774

+1.479 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’34.784

+1.487 Lance Stroll – 1’34.792

+1.544 Romain Grosjean – 1’34.849

+1.824 Daniil Kvyat – 1’35.129

+2.000 Kevin Magnussen – 1’35.305

+2.651 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’35.956

+2.951 George Russell – 1’36.256

+3.323 Robert Kubica – 1’36.628

+5.121 Sergio Perez – 1’38.426

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’35.4391’33.2321’33.923+0.69182
2Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’34.0571’33.5471’33.305-0.24267
3Sebastian VettelFerrari1’34.2261’33.8901’33.523-0.36782
4Charles LeclercFerrari1’35.3801’33.53357
5Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’36.2631’35.0251’33.818-1.20767
6Valtteri BottasMercedes1’36.1591’34.0451’33.904-0.14191
7Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’34.3161’34.4341’33.983-0.33374
8Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’35.7231’34.6671’34.408-0.25975
9Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’35.0081’34.5091’34.517+0.00877
10Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’35.8541’35.3871’34.513-0.87474
11Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’35.5861’34.7441’34.792+0.04874
12Daniel RicciardoRenault1’35.2631’34.9241’34.774-0.1569
13Nico HulkenbergRenault1’36.1241’34.9881’34.784-0.20467
14Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’36.0371’34.8391’35.956+1.11770
15Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’35.3561’35.7891’34.849-0.50745
16Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’35.6611’34.9751’35.129+0.15483
17Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’35.9711’35.1091’38.426+3.31777
18Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’35.6591’35.4421’35.305-0.13765
19George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’36.7491’36.256-0.49352
20Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’37.9481’37.2831’36.628-0.65578
21Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’41.1127

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2019 United States 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 “Verstappen leads Vettel and Norris in final practice”

  1. This is what happens when every car runs their normal modes…and not any improved 6 tenths party mode….Verstappen quickest, plain and simple

    1. Plainly a simple minded thought, IMO… I used to think most people interested enough to comment on a sport as technical as F1 would understand that there’s nothing ever definitive about free practice laptimes. Besides, even in qualifying or on race day, different drivers excel at different kinds of circuits the same way different car packages work better or worse. If you’re not playing the averages & focusing on the bigger picture you’re really doing yourself a disservice.

      1. There’s always one such ‘fan’… Lol. An understanding of F1 is not a given in all ‘fans’.

    2. JI, presumably, in order to make that judgement, you must also have had perfect knowledge of the exact engine modes of every single driver on their best laps, the fuel load, tyre condition, track conditions and relative grip levels, the exact set up and downforce levels of each car and the myriad other factors that would allow you to make such a confident assertion.

      All things considered, I’d say that Norris’s lap with a car that does not have the performance of any of the top three cars was more impressive.

    3. For the sake of argument, even if Verstappen is the quickest driver ever, what good will come out of it if he sees red mist like he usually does, ruins his own race and worse others’ by questionable and impatient moves?

      1. None of that this year. So just enjoy a great driver

        1. So you’ve suppressed the memories of Mexican GP then.

  2. Historically it’s a Hamilton track. I suspect the mercs and Ferraris will come to the fore when party mode gets turned on. I’d love for RB to shock us though. The

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