Gasly leads wet third Turkish GP practice

Charles Coates/Motorsport Images

Gasly leads wet third Turkish GP practice

Formula 1

Gasly leads wet third Turkish GP practice

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Pierre Gasly mastered a soaking Istanbul track to top final practice at the Turkish Grand Prix ahead of Max Verstappen.

The Frenchman was among a group of drivers to set their flying laps on intermediate rubber with around 15 minutes remaining, and though Verstappen embarked on his final flyer with just 20 seconds left, the track drying all the time, he could get to within only 0.164s of Gasly’s benchmark.

Lewis Hamilton finished a lowly 18th after calling it a day with just five laps completed in the inclement weather, the Briton 3.189s adrift.

The circuit started wet, having been doused by showers through the morning, and the first drivers to brace the conditions did so with the full-wet tire. With the rain having abated as the session started, the deepest tread made quick work of the worst of the standings water, and after 15 minutes teams were readying the intermediate rubber to run for the remainder of the hour.

The high-grip surface, having been enhanced in the weeks before the race to generate more tire wear, worked well to give the drivers confidence despite the weather, although standing water remained a risk at key corners — in particular at Turn 11, ordinarily a flat-out kink in the dry, and at Turn 9, where several drivers aquaplaned and spun themselves off the track.

Carlos Sainz was fourth for Ferrari, having run off at Turn 8 later in the session, while Charles Leclerc saved a spin at Turn 9 to finish fifth. The Monegasque considered sampling slick tires at the end of the hour, though the dampness off the racing line eventually dissuaded him.

Fernando Alonso was sixth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Yuki Tsunoda, while Valtteri Bottas managed ninth in the lead Mercedes, 1.5s off the pace.

Esteban Ocon completed the top 10 for Alpine fractionally ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi and Sebastian Vettel.

Mick Schumacher impressed in the tricky conditions to take 13th ahead of McLaren teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris, who were early adopters of the intermediate tire early in the hour.

Lance Stroll was 16th ahead of Nikita Mazepin, who spun off the track at high speed at Turn 11, and the lesser seen Hamilton.

Nicholas Latifi was 19th ahead of Williams teammates George Russell, who beached his car in the gravel at Turn 2 before setting his first timed lap, causing a brief red flag to recover the stranded machine.

 

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