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FP3: Leclerc fastest again, Ferrari over one second ahead

  • Published on 27 Apr 2019 13:01
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Charles Leclerc ended the final practice session on top of the timesheets as Ferrari concluded running 1.2 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

The nearest Mercedes was over 1.4 seconds down on the Maranello squad, who secured the top two positions as focus shifts to qualifying.

Sebastian Vettel was two-tenths down on Leclerc, and managed to pick up a strong slipstream down the start-finish straight on his hot lap.

Max Verstappen was the next best car, as he ended up ahead of the two Mercedes'. Valtteri Bottas was fourth, leading teammate Lewis Hamilton who won the race at Baku 12 months ago.

Toro Rosso heads the midfield

Continuing its strong pace from Friday, the two Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon were sixth and eighth, with Kevin Magnussen lodged in between.

However, the gap from Toro Rosso to Mercedes was very marginal, leading to suggestions that Mercedes are holding back ahead of qualifying later this afternoon.

Sergio Perez, who has more podiums in Baku than any other driver, ended the session in ninth place, while Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top ten in the Alfa Romeo.

No driver became victims of the close walls, however there were a number of occasions in which a driver took to the escape road during the 60 minutes of action.

Renault and Haas struggle

The regular midfield frontrunners struggled during the session, as both Renaults and Haas's ended up outside the top ten. 

Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean were towards the bottom end of the field, ahead of only the two Williams' and Pierre Gasly.

Red Bull focused on Gasly's long run programme, as the Frenchman will start Sunday's race from the pit lane as a punishment for missing the weigh bridge during FP2 on Friday.

Photos Azerbaijan 2019

AZ Baku City Circuit - 27 April 2019

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