Eifel Grand Prix FP3 was yet another start with Bottas at the top of the time sheets to a rather unconventional race weekend with all of Friday running cancelled. With Hulkenberg back, what else do this race has in store for surprises?
Valtteri continued his impressive streak of leading the initial session as he had done for the six races prior with his teammate less than a tenth and a half behind. Verstappen split the Ferrari in P4 as Leclerc once again got the better of the apparently dwindling Vettel finishing the session P3 and P5, respectively.
The development of the car over the turbo hybrid era is apparent as Vettel was the leader here at the Nürburgring the last time we raced in 2013 with an FP3 fastest time of 1:29.597 compared to Bottas leading with this 1:26.225 and Vettel’s own time of 1:27.038 was over 2.5 seconds quicker. Speaking of drivers who have raced here before, just seven have:
But we can now add one more name to that list in Nico Hulkenberg who now officially is set to take over for a Lance Stroll who is still under the weather. Just as he did in Silverstone, Nico was inhereit Lance’s car, wheel, mechanics, the whole nine yards but will be under limited time constraints to get his seat up ready. Luckily they packed his seat in the truck.
🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨— BWT Racing Point F1 Team (@RacingPointF1) October 10, 2020
[if you've been living under a rock this morning]#HULKENBACK #F1 #EifelGP @HulkHulkenberg https://t.co/eU6bWyGHJw
A couple new upgrades, or changes rather, are worth noting to the cars:
- Verstappen is sporting new end plates on the front
- Mercedes takes their 3rd and final PU change for the season – but notably, this was identical SPEC so no “upgrade” reported from the time. While it’s unlikely there was an issue, it’s possible the changes were marginal in terms of incremental performance gain
- McLaren aero bits
Rounding out drivers in within one round second of the Bottas was Lando as he’s eager to strike back at his teammate who has been on a roll getting the better of him on Saturday. For Sainz’s effort he took 13th as both McLaren bring new parts for the 11th round in Germany.
The impressive pairing of Ricciardo and Ocon trading fast time all morning until dropping back a bit but it’s clear they have a solid car for this weekend. Sergio Perez would pip both of them for P7 in a Racing Point that looks durable and will be a threat for a top 5 – maybe a double points with Hulkenberg in the seat and fit to race. Meanwhile, on Raikkonen’s 323 start he enters qualifying 14th and his teammate a further 4 positions back.
Eifel Grand Prix Grand Prix FP3 Results
Below are the final results for The Eifel Grand Prix FP3 session:
|4||33||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:26.896||+0.671s||24|
|7||11||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:27.245||+1.020s||25|
|9||23||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:27.449||+1.224s||23|
|14||7||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:27.956||+1.731s||25|
|18||99||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:28.370||+2.145s||25|
Eifel Grand Prix Outlook
There hasn’t been enough running to get a good sense of pace but what is for sure is that the Ferrari’s have found a way to get their tyres up to speed as has the Red Bull pair. These temperatures give other teams some opportunities to move up the grid as lack of tyre temperatures and track limit breaches at turns 4 & the 12/13 chicane will lead to errors on track. Look for a rather exciting qualifying session as many questions remain unanswered from the rather expedient lone practice session we got before things start to actually count for Sunday in the next qualifying session.
Keep up to date on The Eifel Grand Prix at the Cranky Yankee Motorsport News Hub for all your Formula 1 coverage and follow along with the F1 Live data platform covering sector by sector racing for every single session all season long.
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