Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Nurburgring, 2020

Bottas quickest as unwell Stroll misses practice

2020 Eifel Grand Prix third practice

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Valtteri Bottas led team mate Lewis Hamilton in the single hour of practice at the Nurburgring ahead of today’s qualifying session.

Several drivers had difficulty getting to grips with the cold conditions, as track temperatures reached just 16C in what was officially the third practice session, though worse weather prevented any running in yesterday’s two sessions.

While most drivers maximised their first opportunity to complete some running, covering over 20 laps each, one sat out the session entirely. Racing Point’s Lance Stroll did not join the track when the session began, and the team shortly confirmed he had reported feeling unwell.

Stroll’s participation in qualifying, and therefore the race, remains in doubt. Nico Hulkenberg, who has served as a substitute for Racing Point twice already this year, arrived at the circuit during the session.

The Ferrari drivers put on a strong showing in the chilly conditions, both ending the session inside the top five. Charles Leclerc was third fastest, after being flummoxed by Lando Norris’s driving at the end of the session, the McLaren driver unexpectedly overtaking him into the first corner.

He was separated from team mate Sebastian Vettel by Max Verstappen. The Red Bull driver reported understeer around much of the lap. Vettel, fifth, was one of several drivers to have a brief but harmless spin, his Ferrari getting away from him at the exit of the chicane.

Norris was sixth-quickest ahead of the sole running Racing Point of Sergio Perez. Daniel Ricciardo put his Renault in eighth place ahead of Alexander Albon and Pierre Gasly.

Both Williams drivers suffered spins during the session, but without causing any damage to their cars. George Russell touched the wet kerb on the outside of the Veedol chicane and spun onto the grass, taking a long time to come to a stop, but without hitting anything.

Nicholas Latifi’s FW43 swapped ends on him at the final corner. He briefly became stuck next to the barrier but was able to reverse his way carefully back onto the circuit with the assistance of his team.

The 16-year-old track record fell the first time cars took to the track for the Eifel Grand Prix. By the end of the session Takuma Sato’s 2004 benchmark of 1’27.691 had been beaten by almost a second and a half.

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2020 Eifel Grand Prix third practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes1’26.22525
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’26.3610.13627
316Charles LeclercFerrari1’26.6810.45625
433Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’26.8960.67124
55Sebastian VettelFerrari1’27.0380.81325
64Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’27.1670.94229
711Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’27.2451.02025
83Daniel RicciardoRenault1’27.3921.16723
923Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’27.4491.22423
1010Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’27.5281.30328
1131Esteban OconRenault1’27.6341.40927
1226Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda1’27.7951.57026
1355Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’27.9241.69929
147Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’27.9561.73125
158Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’28.1151.89027
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’28.2932.06827
1763George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’28.3432.11830
1899Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’28.3702.14525
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’28.9412.71626
2018Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes

Third practice visual gaps

Valtteri Bottas – 1’26.225

+0.136 Lewis Hamilton – 1’26.361

+0.456 Charles Leclerc – 1’26.681

+0.671 Max Verstappen – 1’26.896

+0.813 Sebastian Vettel – 1’27.038

+0.942 Lando Norris – 1’27.167

+1.020 Sergio Perez – 1’27.245

+1.167 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’27.392

+1.224 Alexander Albon – 1’27.449

+1.303 Pierre Gasly – 1’27.528

+1.409 Esteban Ocon – 1’27.634

+1.570 Daniil Kvyat – 1’27.795

+1.699 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’27.924

+1.731 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’27.956

+1.890 Romain Grosjean – 1’28.115

+2.068 Kevin Magnussen – 1’28.293

+2.118 George Russell – 1’28.343

+2.145 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’28.370

+2.716 Nicholas Latifi – 1’28.941

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2020 Eifel 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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4 comments on “Bottas quickest as unwell Stroll misses practice”

  1. Latifis spin resulted in a compromised lap for Hamilton and Verstappen, both in a quick lap at that time.
    So very curious about the times during qualifying.

  2. The math for me got clear now: get whatever advantage Bottas had on FP3, double it, and this will be the gp by which Hamilton is on the pole later on the day.

    1. That has been the case just twice this year. Even the previous two occasions where Bottas was P1 in P3 don’t quite match what you say.

      The Tuscan grand prix was the last time Bottas led P3 and lead Hamilton by 0.083. The gap of Hamilton’s advantage in qualifying didn’t double, it reduced.

      Bottas’s advantage in P3 over Hamilton in Italy was 0.35 seconds. Hamilton’s pole was by a few hundredths.

      In the British grand prix weekend, you are pretty much correct Bottas was just over a tenth faster in P3, then around double that time between the two when Hamilton led him in Q3.

      You are also correct in Hungary. Bottas half a tenth faster in P3 and just over a tenth slower in qualifying.

      From the occasions we can compare here, it doesn’t show how likely anything will be.

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