F1. Valtteri Bottas sets the pace ahead of qualifying for the Qatar GP

We started the morning with quite surprising pictures. Namely, dark clouds appeared over the Losail International Circuit, from which a few raindrops fell. This complicated the plans for some teams as hardly anyone expected such weather. Fortunately for them the skies cleared at the last minute and the last loose time trial before the upcoming qualifying was played in dry conditions.

FP3 started badly for Nikita Mazepin. The Haas representative did not even manage to go to the track as his car stopped at the end of the pit lane. This forced the judges to temporarily interrupt the session with a red flag. – The car didn’t sound like it should. Thank you and I get off – a dissatisfied Russian reported to the engineer.

Drivers were in no hurry to leave their garages today. All because of the early hour. Both qualifying and the race will take place under artificial lighting at a much later hour. The first quick laps were completed twenty minutes after the beginning of the competition.

Lewis Hamilton was at the forefront, ahead of his team mate – Valtteri Bottas. To the surprise of the observers, Fernando Alonso broke them for a moment, but the Spaniard also expressly said goodbye to the first position thanks to the effective response of the “Silver Arrows” duo.

Max Verstappen, who was preparing for the trip later in the training, watched from his monitor. The Dutchman presented himself to the fans only at the halfway point. The leader of the general classification of the world championship took advantage of the track evolution and immediately broke through to the front of the field. The fans were electrified primarily by the difference between him and Lewis Hamilton. It was only 31 thousandths of a second. We simply couldn’t imagine a better announcement of the ending.

In the final segment of the FP3, Mercedes has shown real power. First, Lewis Hamilton showed a great time again. Then the current champion was beaten by Valtteri Bottas. Both drove away the leader of the “Red Bulls” for well over half a second. It is true that the 24-year-old tried to answer, but to no avail.

Once again, we were delighted with the disposition of both Alpha Tauri drivers. Pierre Gasly is back in the lead. Yuki Tsunoda also made it to ten. On the other hand, McLaren is having problems, because Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris had to settle for eleventh and thirteenth position respectively.

This is not the end of emotions for today. At 15:00 the qualifying starts, which due to the specific characteristics of the Qatar circuit will be more important than usual. Broadcast on Eleven Sports 1.

Results of the third training session before the Qatar Grand Prix:


About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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