Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2020

Hamilton quickest, Vettel slowest in final practice

2020 Belgian Grand Prix third practice

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Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the final practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix while Ferrari’s poor weekend continued.

Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel ended the session 17th and last, with at least one car from each of their nine rivals ahead of them.

A quiet session, which included a few light rain showers, came alive in the final minutes as the field took to the track en masse. This led to the usual traffic jam at the end of the lap, where a queue of drivers waited to start their final runs.

Hamilton jumped to the top of the times with his last effort but four different cars appeared in the top four places. Esteban Ocon took second place for Renault, two-tenths of a second off the Mercedes. He was followed by Lando Norris in the McLaren and Alexander Albon’s Red Bull.

The other Red Bull of Max Verstappen set similar lap times to the Mercedes drivers for much of the session, but found a queue of seven drivers ahead of him at the end of the lap prior to his final flying lap and had to abort his run. He ended up sixth behind Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes.

Daniel Ricciardo put his Renault seventh. The Racing Point pair also joined the top 10, Lance Stroll ahead of Sergio Perez, the pink cars separated by the second McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jnr.

The quickest Ferrari-powered car appeared in 14th place. Aside from George Russell’s Williams, the bottom places in the times sheets were entirely occupied by Ferrari and their customers.

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2020 Belgian Grand Prix Third Practice classification

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’43.2559
231Esteban OconRenault1’43.4850.2309
34Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’43.6410.38612
423Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’43.7310.47613
577Valtteri BottasMercedes1’43.8130.5589
633Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’43.8960.64110
73Daniel RicciardoRenault1’43.9730.7188
818Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’43.9880.73312
955Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’44.0060.75113
1011Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’44.1800.92512
1110Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’44.5081.25314
1226Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda1’44.5431.28814
136Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’44.7711.51611
1420Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’44.8411.58610
158Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’44.8441.58916
167Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’44.9321.67711
1716Charles LeclercFerrari1’45.1471.89212
1863George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’45.1571.90211
1999Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’45.1901.93513
205Sebastian VettelFerrari1’45.4202.16512

Third practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’43.255

+0.230 Esteban Ocon – 1’43.485

+0.386 Lando Norris – 1’43.641

+0.476 Alexander Albon – 1’43.731

+0.558 Valtteri Bottas – 1’43.813

+0.641 Max Verstappen – 1’43.896

+0.718 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’43.973

+0.733 Lance Stroll – 1’43.988

+0.751 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’44.006

+0.925 Sergio Perez – 1’44.180

+1.253 Pierre Gasly – 1’44.508

+1.288 Daniil Kvyat – 1’44.543

+1.516 Nicholas Latifi – 1’44.771

+1.586 Kevin Magnussen – 1’44.841

+1.589 Romain Grosjean – 1’44.844

+1.677 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’44.932

+1.892 Charles Leclerc – 1’45.147

+1.902 George Russell – 1’45.157

+1.935 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’45.190

+2.165 Sebastian Vettel – 1’45.420

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’44.5621’43.8401’43.255-0.58549
2Esteban OconRenault1’45.0991’44.2081’43.485-0.72352
3Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’45.2741’44.1681’43.641-0.52762
4Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’45.0491’44.1341’43.731-0.40356
5Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’44.5741’43.7441’43.896+0.15251
6Daniel RicciardoRenault1’45.2251’43.7921’43.973+0.18141
7Valtteri BottasMercedes1’44.4931’44.1621’43.813-0.34954
8Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’44.8681’44.6781’43.988-0.6957
9Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’45.2221’44.4741’44.006-0.46860
10Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’44.6291’44.1371’44.180+0.04357
11Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’45.5031’44.6001’44.508-0.09258
12Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda1’45.4471’44.8261’44.543-0.28365
13Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’46.4881’45.7741’44.771-1.00356
14Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’46.2421’44.841-1.40123
15Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’45.8341’44.844-0.9930
16Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’44.8611’45.190+0.32944
17Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’45.7041’44.8961’44.932+0.03653
18Charles LeclercFerrari1’45.7591’45.4401’45.147-0.29349
19George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’46.5701’45.4631’45.157-0.30657
20Sebastian VettelFerrari1’46.1791’45.6831’45.420-0.26348

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2020 Belgian 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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28 comments on “Hamilton quickest, Vettel slowest in final practice”

  1. Traffic complaints in qualifying INBOUND!!!

    1. Expecting to hear about those in all 3 sessions.

  2. It’s terrible. Drives like a pig.

    1. Woah you can’t say that!

  3. Whilst the lack of transarency still bothers me to an extent, it’s getting to the point where I hardly care at all about the details of the undisclosed agreement between Ferrari and FIA. Whatever the agreement was, it’s provided a pretty shocking outcome for the Scuderia.

    1. Transparency is not a problem, the fia pr is, they made themselves look bad. I would not expect to know how DAS works or how the party modes work or how the brake ducts do their magic, managing heat between brakes and tyres.
      The fact Ferrari was in the 41’s back in 2018 is very telling. The engine is the most affected by the directive but we already knew that, old news, it isn’t just the directive, haas running dallara made last years ferrari is .6 quicker in fp3, Gio was the quickest ferrari in fp2.

      1. As far as I understand @peartree, when Ferrari went about the design of their car for this year they still counted on having that powerfull engine, so they build a car that would best work with a bit more drag / downforce. Now that the engine can’t pull that anymore, they had to take of downforce, but the car is still draggy and with less downforce also not stable.

  4. If it stays dry, times will tumble enormously by the end of qualifying.

    I wonder about Ferrari.
    Have they been using the illegal engine right from the start of this era?.. If not, then how could they lose so much after being caught by the bottom.

  5. I don’t imagine this is what Leclerc was expecting when he signed for Ferrari. Outperforming the car to drag into 17th in P3 of Spa. Wow, shocking.

  6. Monza is going to be fun for Ferrari.

    1. Fortunately for them there are no fans allowed at the grid.

  7. Will be great to see Ferrari and Williams lining up next to each other at one end of the grid after so many years.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      29th August 2020, 13:03

      But look at the difference between Hamilton and the quickest Williams. 1.516 seconds. That is impressive from Williams.

  8. The thing that bothers me the most is that no one from Ferrari openly says this is unacceptable. All of them seem to have given up, Binotto is literally an impersonation of humble defeat. This may drag on for years.

    1. Well, given allthe development restrictions for these two seasons, what would you do?

      1. @minilemm ferrari voted in favour. Binotto warned at launch, back in march that the engine was bad, after testing he said they were slow, but like pironi is saying, there is no emotion no energy from their end, does not look like they are doing anything on the background.

        1. Yeah it’s kinda puzzling that they did.
          Yet still, my question stands.
          And the lack of answer as of yet might provide some insight into how they feel and what they’re busy doing.
          Maybe they scratched it all and went all-out on 2022 – it’d be a very non-Ferrari and a very smart thing to do, in my opinion.

  9. Really hoping for wet race now. What a mess Ferrari has found themselves in

    1. That will hurt Ferrari more than anyone – they’ve trimmed all the downforce off so they don’t get destroyed in sector 1.
      My opinion of them and they way they run their team is pretty low, but this annoys even me.

      Unlike some, I really do want to know what they were doing last year that they’re no longer allowed to do – It was obviously technically very clever, but against the rules.

  10. This is getting ridiculous! How can Ferrari be outperformed by both their customer teams, despite having more downforce and better drivers?!

    This just proves that there is more to it than the weak PU. The whole car is a mess!

    1. Because it’s Spa and you want hardly any downforce

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      29th August 2020, 12:40

      If Vettel stays for the whole season, he may outlast every person on that team:-) I wouldn’t be surprised if Leclerc is the only one providing feedback at this point.

    3. Official: Ferrari are asking for Spa to be postponed to 2021. Reasons too be announced before Quali.

  11. Latifi. 13th! Cheating?

  12. I’m betting Carlos Sainz is having occasional nightmares about him signing with Ferrari, only to wake up, sweaty with his heart racing… remembering it happened in real life too.

    1. yes @fer-no65 what a nightmare for him. Freezes and the budget cap locking it in. And did Nicolas Todt get some performance exit clause in for LeClerc? Have to wonder!

  13. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    29th August 2020, 13:15

    Look at the gap between first and last on the longest track though! And Williams only 1.516 behind Hamilton and less than a second off Bottas. I think Bottas lifted off his final run, but still, this is encouraging from Williams.

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