Mercedes Valtteri Bottas scored the fastest timing in the third (and really only) test session of the Eiffel Grand Prix, round 11 of the 2020 season of the Formula 1 World Championship, beating his colleague Lewis Hamilton.
After the first and second test sessions were canceled, the third test session was of great importance, given that it represented the only opportunity for drivers and teams to take their tests and try to find the perfect tuning parameters in the Nürburgring circuit dating back to the Formula 1 calendar for the first time since 2013.
This led everyone to complete an intense program of testing, preparing for the qualifying session and then the Sunday race, knowing that the temperatures were very low at the Nürburgring.
The supremacy was in Red Bull’s favor at the start of the trials, with the drivers’ programs varied and varied in that hour of testing, with some teams focusing on simulation qualifying trials with little fuel, while others focused on racing simulations.
But Max Verstappen led the first part of the experiments, knowing that his first rapid timing had been canceled due to his departure from the boundaries of the track at the fourth turn, but he managed to maintain a high pace in his next fast laps, and scored a timing of 1: 28.684 d, 0.041 s ahead of his colleague Alexander Albon.
As for the Mercedes team, the silver arrows struggled somewhat with the brakes, braking and tire closures in the Nürburgring in low temperatures, with Valtteri Bottas in eighth place, and his teammate Lewis Hamilton only 11th in the early stage of trials.
After that, the drivers’ experiments began with the soft tires, with several drivers advancing to the top, including Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo with 1: 27.392 d. However, Ricardo’s lead lasted for a short time, until Verstappen crossed the finish line with the soft tires, and scored a time of 1: 27.071, advancing to first place.
Bottas could not keep up with Verstappen’s pace on his first fast lap with soft tires, and came in second, 0.157s off the lead, while Hamilton’s first lap was bad with soft tires with a mistake in the first clip, but advanced to second in his second fast lap. , 0.118s behind Verstappen.
However, Bottas, in his second fast lap with soft tires, advanced to first place with a clocking of 1: 26.968d, beating Verstappen by 0.103s.
After that, drivers switched to other sets of soft tires, to adjust again to the requirements of driving on the Nürburgring with a small amount of fuel.
Where Bottas was able to consolidate his lead, scoring 1: 26,255D. However, Hamilton was affected in his first quick turn with that set of tires, due to Williams driver Nicholas Latifi making a mistake at the last turn, and he returned to the circuit in a bad manner, forcing all drivers to slow down significantly due to raising the yellow flags, including Hamilton, who had Record the fastest time ever in the first clip on that fast lap.
These events ensured Bottas secured first place at the end of the trials, beating Hamilton – who had improved his timing in his second quick lap – by 0.136s.
There was a noticeable improvement in the performance of Ferrari in this round, with Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel enjoying a strong level of performance compared to what was the case in the past rounds, where Leclerc was the closest competitor to the Mercedes duo, with his presence in third place 0.4s away from the lead Sebastian Vettel came fifth, and Verstappen separated them in fourth place.
Sixth place was the best for the McLaren driver, in sixth place, while his colleague Carlos Sainz came in 13th, while Sergio Perez was the only representative of the Mercedes team in seventh place, while Renault duo Daniel Ricardo and Esteban Ocon came eighth and eleventh, respectively.
Once again, Albon continued to fall behind his colleague Verstappen, with Albon in ninth place, while Ocon’s season came in eleventh, between Alpha Toure duo Pierre Gasly and Danielle Kviat in 10th and 12th.
Alfa Romeo team driver Kimi Raikkonen was ranked 14th, ahead of Haas Roman Grojan and Kevin Magnussen in 15th and 16th, while Raikkonen’s teammate Antonio Giovinazzi came in 18th and separated Williams’s duo, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, while Lance Stroll came last with his absence. This is the share because he did not feel well, with Nico Hulkenberg likely to take part.
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