Sports Drafting, Oct 24 (EFE) .- The Finn Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) has signed the full set of best times in the free sessions prior to qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix, the twelfth round of the Formula 1 championship that is being held this weekend week at the Autodromo Internacional del Algarve.
Bottas, second in the World Cup standings, stopped the clock at 1: 16,654 in the third practice, this Saturday, on soft tires, ahead of his teammate, Lewis Hamilton.
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The Finn soon broke his best time on Friday and alternated first with Hamilton throughout training. The Briton was more comfortable than on the eventful opening day of the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) joined the bid for the fastest time the day after his controversial clash with Canadian Lance Stroll (Racing Point), an incident that was investigated but had no consequences.
Even with medium tires, ‘Mad’ Max provisionally set the fastest time in the third free practice, a record that he could not lower on the soft ones.
As in the two free sessions on Friday, in this Saturday the first to go out on the track was the Spanish Carlos Sainz. To start with, he chose a medium compound set. He finished training in seventh position, more than half a second from the best time.
The Alpha Tauri of Frenchman Pierre Gasly, winner of the Italian Grand Prix, lagged behind the two Mercedes and Verstappen’s Red Bull, in fourth place, while Mexican Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez was eighth.
Portugal’s asphalt is gaining grip and the drivers are also adapting to the track, but in the third practice there were new rides on the gravel, including one by Hamilton, oversteering like the ones Sainz starred in and exits from the limits of the track that canceled times.
Difficulties in keeping the car on the track due to the design of the circuit, the asphalt and the wind, were added, in the case of Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), problems with the DSR.
The last free session in Portimao ended with a red flag on the track due to the breakage of a water drainage grid at the exit of the penultimate corner.
This forced the cars to finish training in the pits, which prevented them from rehearsing starts for the Sunday race.
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