Miglior tempo per Verstappen nel terzo turno di prove libere

(Motorsport-Total.com) – Max Verstappen secured the fastest time in the third Free Practice for the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka. The Red Bull driver was stopped at 1:29.563 minutes under cloudy but dry conditions, beating his teammate Sergio Perez and George Russell (Mercedes) by 0.269 and 0.355 seconds respectively to take second and third place.

Verstappen was not happy with his car, reporting that it was “much worse to drive” immediately after setting the fastest time on the team radio, and also complaining about a vibrating rearview mirror. Ultimately, he did not set the fastest time in any of the three sectors, and he only ranked 13th in the top speed table with 298 km/h.

Lando Norris (6th / +0.574) was the fastest in the first sector. The McLaren driver did not complete his best lap. Russell was slightly faster than Verstappen in the second sector. And in the third sector, the high top speed of the Williams (309 km/h) paid off, with Alexander Albon (11th / +0.970) being the fastest there.

The two Ferraris landed in 7th and 10th positions, while Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin finished fifth. Twelve drivers were within one second on Saturday morning. Nico Hülkenberg (Haas) secured 16th place. The only German in the field had a time difference of 1.576 seconds to the fastest lap.

Regarding the topic: Result, 3rd Free Practice
Stream: Live analysis on YouTube (2:00 pm)

Is Red Bull beatable in Suzuka?

According to Helmut Marko, pole position for Red Bull is not guaranteed: “It’s close between Checo and Max. I hope we will stay ahead. But it seems like Mercedes has a good package,” said the Austrian. Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff disagreed in an interview with Sky: “No chance. This is Max’s track. He dominated everything last year.”

Wolff analyzed the balance of power as “very difficult to assess” and stated, “We have made a leap – definitely much better than last year. But it’s so close between the top eight that I believe the result flatters us a bit.”

“I think it will be very close between the top six – maybe the top seven, including Alonso. I expect Max at the front, and behind him, everything may be within two tenths of a second,” said Wolff, who also mentioned that the Mercedes performance is “not good enough for a podium in my opinion.”

Was there another serious accident?

There were no crashes like Logan Sargeant’s (Williams) in the first practice on Friday this time. Sargeant was able to drive again on Saturday morning after having to skip the second practice session because his Williams could not be repaired in time. He finished in 19th place, with a 1.889-second time difference.

However, Kevin Magnussen (20th / Haas / +1.899) had an early spin in the session in the hairpin, which had no significant consequences. Later, Daniel Ricciardo (Racing Bulls) went off track once – with a symbolic cut by the TV directors, who shortly after showed Liam Lawson, who is being considered as a possible replacement for Ricciardo.

“Daniel is under a lot of pressure in the team. It has been communicated to him that more needs to come,” said ORF expert Alexander Wurz. The Australian finished the final practice in 13th place, 1.119 seconds behind Verstappen’s fastest time and 0.341 seconds behind his Japanese teammate Yuki Tsunoda in 9th place.

Will the Japanese Grand Prix be shown on free TV?

In Germany, all Formula 1 race weekends can only be seen on pay-TV. Although RTL shows seven Grand Prix races live, the Japanese Grand Prix is not one of them. The Cologne private broadcaster will return in July for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

What remains free to watch is the daily analysis on the F1 Show with Kevin Scheuren and Christian Nimmervoll on the Formula1.de YouTube channel. The summary of the events in Suzuka will be available at 2:00 pm German time on all days of the race weekend.

The race will start on Sunday morning at 7:00 am German time. Formula 1 fans without pay-TV access can choose to watch the Watchparty on YouTube with Kevin Scheuren and Kevin Hermann as an alternative. They are not allowed to show live footage from the race track due to legal reasons but their commentary serves as a good alternative to traditional TV audio or radio broadcasts.