Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Autodromo do Algarve, 2020

Bottas completes practice sweep as Verstappen closes on Mercedes

2020 Portuguese Grand Prix third practice

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Valtteri Bottas completed a clean sweep of all three practice sessions at the Autodromo do Algarve, narrowly leading a Mercedes one-two in final practice.

The final hour of running before qualifying was brought to an early end when a broken drain cover caused the session to be red-flagged.

Bottas headed the session by less than three-hundredths of a second from team mate Lewis Hamilton, who went off into the gravel at one point. Behind them a trio of Honda-powered runners completed a close top five.

Max Verstappen, who set his quickest lap time on medium tyres instead of softs, ended the session within two-tenths of a second of Bottas. He was separated from team mate Alexander Albon by Pierre Gasly in the AlphaTauri.

Gasly, whose Friday running was badly disrupted by car problems including a fire, was in great shape after changing chassis overnight. “Very good job guys,” he said after the first run in his repaired car, which his engineers had broken curfew to work on. Despite that, and because he did not have to take any new power unit parts, Gasly has avoided any grid penalties.

Charles Leclerc had another spin on his way to an eventual sixth place. Team mate Sebastian Vettel, who ran over the drain and caused the failure which ended the session, was 11th.

The two Ferraris were separated by the McLaren pair, Sergio Perez’s Racing Point and Esteban Ocon – who had to stop at the pit lane exit when the session was red-flagged. He and team mate Daniel Ricciardo were both delayed by minor technical problems during the session.

The track limits guidance was changed overnight for turns one, four and 15, but it didn’t stop many drivers having lap time deleted for running too wide.

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2020 Portuguese Grand Prix third practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes1’16.65427
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’16.6800.02623
333Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’16.8120.15821
410Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’16.9300.27624
523Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’17.1170.46325
616Charles LeclercFerrari1’17.2290.57520
755Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’17.2380.58424
811Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’17.2970.64317
94Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’17.4780.82422
1031Esteban OconRenault1’17.6661.01220
115Sebastian VettelFerrari1’17.6851.03124
1226Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda1’17.7201.06629
137Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’17.9221.26820
143Daniel RicciardoRenault1’17.9351.28113
1563George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’18.0321.37820
1618Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’18.1001.44617
1799Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’18.2011.54720
1820Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’18.2871.63313
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’18.3971.74320
208Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’18.4541.80019

Third practice visual gaps

Valtteri Bottas – 1’16.654

+0.026 Lewis Hamilton – 1’16.680

+0.158 Max Verstappen – 1’16.812

+0.276 Pierre Gasly – 1’16.930

+0.463 Alexander Albon – 1’17.117

+0.575 Charles Leclerc – 1’17.229

+0.584 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’17.238

+0.643 Sergio Perez – 1’17.297

+0.824 Lando Norris – 1’17.478

+1.012 Esteban Ocon – 1’17.666

+1.031 Sebastian Vettel – 1’17.685

+1.066 Daniil Kvyat – 1’17.720

+1.268 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’17.922

+1.281 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’17.935

+1.378 George Russell – 1’18.032

+1.446 Lance Stroll – 1’18.100

+1.547 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’18.201

+1.633 Kevin Magnussen – 1’18.287

+1.743 Nicholas Latifi – 1’18.397

+1.800 Romain Grosjean – 1’18.454

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes1’17.94032
233Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’18.5350.59534
34Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’18.7430.80335
416Charles LeclercFerrari1’18.8380.89834
555Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’19.1131.17332
65Sebastian VettelFerrari1’19.1751.23534
710Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’19.1781.23826
844Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’19.3081.36827
931Esteban OconRenault1’19.4961.55632
1023Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’19.6431.70337
1163George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’19.8211.88133
1211Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’19.9011.96134
133Daniel RicciardoRenault1’19.9872.04728
146Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’20.4652.52533
157Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’20.4902.55034
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’20.6802.74029
1726Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda1’20.7292.78933
188Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’20.8672.92732
1918Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’20.9833.04326
2099Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’21.3963.45634

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2020 Portuguese 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 completes practice sweep as Verstappen closes on Mercedes”

  1. Interesting, Ham copied the Bottas setup ( his fp2 setup was wrong) and put in the fastest lap on his first real lap. It took a lot of time for the rest to surpass that.
    Ver did the fastest lap on medium, before loosing the time as a result of the track limits.
    The differences between the teams are the smallest this year.
    So we are in for a very interesting quali!

    1. Where was it reported HAM copied BOT’s setup?

      1. @riggerus Well, it doesn’t sound impossible. Hamilton’s FP2 set up was way off.

        1. @david-br Also possible that he reverted to his FP1 setup. It’s the absolute certainty with which assumption is routinely relayed as fact in these comment sections that doesn’t sit well with me.

          1. @riggerus Maybe, but why not use Bottas’s set up if it was better? I don’t see a problem in team mates sharing setups (though maybe they don’t sometimes want to share when they’re ahead, keen to have an edge). It’s a team and exploring different possibilities and later pooling results makes sense as a team. I do have an issue with teams coaching drivers to drive like the other team mate (where they’re braking, cornering etc.) as these are the differences, I think, we all want to see. Different styles and skills. Maintaining that difference also means setups may tend to favour one driver (and their style) more than another.

    2. Hopeless lies.
      Haha. Laugh at you!!!

  2. That was quite a weird session. Verstappen matching the Mercs, while being on a harder compound (although that might not have been a disatvantage), Gasly very close to them as well and the Ferraris matching the Mercs’ race pace towards the end of the session.
    Mercedes should pull away in qualifying with Verstappen right behind them, but who knows what’s the pecking order gonna be behind them?! Alpha Tauri, Ferrari, Renault, Racing Point, McLaren?! Anyone of them could lead the midfield.

  3. I haven’t seen many marbles, harder tyres are harder than what we would expect for the layout, and what we generally see. Surface is very fresh very smooth, graining is a big problem as tyre temperatures are low. Teams are struggling with getting the most out of the range. Definite 1 stop though, as long as teams deal with the graining the mileage is there.
    Merc ran safe on friday no active suspension on the car, after checking the data they are now running it for today, expect to see them bolt away.

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