Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2021

Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two in wet final practice

2021 Belgian Grand Prix third practice

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The two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez finished atop the timings after a wet final practice session ahead of qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Verstappen set the fastest time on intermediate tyres, ahead of team mate Perez and championship leader Lewis Hamilton having set the third-fastest time in the session.

It was a wet hour of running for the drivers, following a heavy downpour earlier in the morning that had delayed the start of the Formula 3 race scheduled prior to the start of final practice. Intermediates were the tyres of choice for the majority of the grid, with a number of drivers sliding wide as they tried to get to grips with the damp Spa surface.

Verstappen and Perez set the quickest times at the midway point of the session. Daniel Ricciardo was warned that the rain would continue to fall throughout the second half of the session – a prophecy that proved to be an accurate one.

Kimi Raikkonen’s running was heavily curtailed when the Alfa Romeo driver trundled back to the pit lane while complaining of brake failure midway through the session. He was unable to get back out onto the circuit during the remainder of the session.

Despite the cars clearing a significant amount of standing water off the Spa track surface, the consistent rain meant that the circuit did not reach a threshold where dry tyres were a viable option for the drivers.

Pierre Gasly had a late scare when he spun his AlphaTauri on the exit of Stavelot on the slippery kerbs. Despite pitching the car a full 180 degrees, Gasly managed to avoid making contact with the barriers and recovered to continue without significant damage to his car.

In the closing minutes, McLaren opted to send Lando Norris out on soft dry tyres. Norris struggled for any traction on his single lap, before immediately bailing back to the safety of the pitlane.

As the chequered flag flew, Verstappen’s early benchmark of a 1’56.924 was good enough to see him finish top of the timings and bounce back from an abrupt end to his Friday running with his late-session shunt in second practice.

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2021 Belgian Grand Prix third practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
133Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’56.92410
211Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’57.8710.9477
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’57.9961.0729
44Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’58.5091.58511
531Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’58.9131.98915
618Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’59.2052.28116
710Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’59.3242.40014
85Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’59.4362.51215
963George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’59.4922.5689
1014Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’59.6132.68916
1177Valtteri BottasMercedes1’59.8082.88414
126Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’59.9813.05711
133Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes2’00.4563.53213
1455Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari2’00.7493.82517
1547Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari2’01.2694.34518
1616Charles LeclercFerrari2’01.3704.44614
1722Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda2’01.5104.58620
1899Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari2’01.5124.58820
199Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari2’01.7924.86819
207Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari2’04.3827.4583

Third practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’56.924

+0.947 Sergio Perez – 1’57.871

+1.072 Lewis Hamilton – 1’57.996

+1.585 Lando Norris – 1’58.509

+1.989 Esteban Ocon – 1’58.913

+2.281 Lance Stroll – 1’59.205

+2.400 Pierre Gasly – 1’59.324

+2.512 Sebastian Vettel – 1’59.436

+2.568 George Russell – 1’59.492

+2.689 Fernando Alonso – 1’59.613

+2.884 Valtteri Bottas – 1’59.808

+3.057 Nicholas Latifi – 1’59.981

+3.532 Daniel Ricciardo – 2’00.456

+3.825 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 2’00.749

+4.345 Mick Schumacher – 2’01.269

+4.446 Charles Leclerc – 2’01.370

+4.586 Yuki Tsunoda – 2’01.510

+4.588 Antonio Giovinazzi – 2’01.512

+4.868 Nikita Mazepin – 2’01.792

+7.458 Kimi Raikkonen – 2’04.382

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’45.3631’44.4721’56.924+12.45236
2Valtteri BottasMercedes1’45.1991’44.5131’59.808+15.29546
3Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’48.2241’44.5441’57.996+13.45239
4Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’46.6121’44.9531’59.613+14.6647
5Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’45.6991’44.9651’59.324+14.35951
6Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’46.6491’45.1801’59.205+14.02549
7Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’46.4971’45.3021’58.913+13.61146
8Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’46.1771’45.3361’59.436+14.150
9Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’46.3361’45.3861’58.509+13.12346
10Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’46.1271’45.4041’57.871+12.46737
11Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’45.9351’45.5172’00.749+15.23251
12Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’46.9281’45.7582’01.510+15.75256
13Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’46.7551’45.7892’01.512+15.72353
14Charles LeclercFerrari1’45.8181’46.8362’01.370+15.55246
15Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’48.1251’45.9672’04.382+18.41536
16Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’46.6831’46.1182’00.456+14.33847
17Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’47.1011’46.1981’59.981+13.78348
18George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’46.7721’46.6651’59.492+12.82742
19Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’48.7051’47.3352’01.792+14.45749
20Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’49.0591’47.5292’01.269+13.7448

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2021 Belgian Grand Prix

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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10 comments on “Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two in wet final practice”

  1. Do we have a good weather prediction for qual and race?

    1. Quali looks to be a lot wetter (lots of rain expected until then I think); race, since it is Spa, probably wettish, but who knows?

    2. Weather is absolutely miserable at the track right now, and exegetes to remain like that until quali

  2. Looking forward to what will surely be a fantastic qualifying session in mixed conditions (as long as it doesn’t get constantly wetter over the course of qualifying). In the wet, my money would be on Hamilton for pole, but Verstappen has a very good chance too.

    I thought the conversation about Vettel’s disqualification went on a bit too long, and I certainly agree with Paul Di Resta. If they need one litre of fuel, they should imagine that they have one litre of fuel fewer than they actually do have. And if they end up with less than a litre then they have run out of fuel. If the fuel pressure system failed, the situation should be seen as equivalent to a car failure causing Vettel to run out of fuel on the final lap.

  3. Max looking good again. Rain will likely favour RB cars but who knows with Merc? The weather will ensure a great qualy session, that’s for sure.

    1. Reply button: Placed left
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  4. Bottas might be getting ready to create another big bowling strike.

    1. This time he will be starting quite a bit further back, so he might actually hit a 10 @omarr-pepper!

      Seriously, I doubt Bottas will do much more than slip back from starting somewhere top 8 and then gradually climb up to about p5-7 in the race as his car pace allows him to get past a few guys.

      1. The lenghts some go for a renewal

        1. Ahah, indeed! Btw, bascb, don’t forget bottas has a 5 places grid penalty, he can’t start in the top 8!

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