Lewis Hamilton topped the instances for Mercedes forward of Renault’s Esteban Ocon as Sebastian Vettel slumped to 20th and final for Ferrari in Saturday morning’s third and remaining apply for Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix. The championship chief and defending six-time champion clocked a quickest lap in a single minute and 43.255 seconds to outpace Ocon by two-tenths because the session produced an surprising end result.
Hamilton’s ‘black arrows’ team-mate Valtteri Bottas was down in fifth place, separated from the Briton by Ocon, Lando Norris of McLaren in third and Alex Albon of Red Bull.
Max Verstappen, who was quickest on Friday in his Red Bull, was sixth forward of Daniel Ricciardo within the second Renault and the 2 Racing Points of Lance Stroll, in eighth, and Sergio Perez, tenth, break up by Carlos Sainz.
Most remarkably, final 12 months’s race winner Charles Leclerc and his Ferrari team-mate Vettel, the 2018 winner, wound up in 17th and 20th locations – an end result that created the prospect of each Ferraris, scuffling with fundamental efficiency in addition to tyre issues, failing to progress from Q1 in qualifying in a while Saturday.
On a dismal and overcast morning, with sporadic showers following heavy in a single day rain, the air temperature was solely 14 levels Celsius and the observe simply 19 as remaining apply started with solely the 2 Haas automobiles venturing out within the opening 20 minutes.
The cool situations meant it was very troublesome for the groups and their drivers to heat up their tyres and this, in flip, inspired them to delay their laps till that they had the possibility of a transparent run.
When the remaining joined the fray, Norris, Albon, Hamilton and Bottas successively took over from Kevin Magnussen on prime of the instances, all bettering their laps in a bid to beat the threatened rain.
After his quickest time on Friday, Verstappen resumed by separating the 2 Mercedes and taking second for Red Bull because the Ardennes’ famously capricious microclimate produced heavy rain and sunshine concurrently at completely different elements of the sprawling observe.
All this resulted in a mini site visitors jam earlier than the ultimate flurry of laps because the drivers jostled for positions earlier than lapping in earnest.
“The traffic is a nightmare – at the start of the lap, it’s impossible,” stated Leclerc.
Williams’ George Russell was extra succinct. “Oh my God,” he stated. “What a joke.”
Topics talked about on this article