Max Verstappen shortly behind Mercedes in final practice | Motorsport

Verstappen was one and a half tenths of a second slower than Bottas, but was driving that time on the medium tire instead of the softest rubber available. The Dutchman still went out on the softest tire in the final phase, but failed to improve his time.

The Red Bull driver stated during the training session at the Portimão circuit that he lost a lot of top speed on the straight. His engineer suspected that this might be due to the wind in the Algarve. Verstappen then joked: “That must be a hurricane.” His teammate Alexander Albon complained about the lack of grip, a problem that is more common on the new asphalt in Portugal.

Albon set fifth fastest, behind AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly. His car was still on fire on Friday, but nevertheless no parts of the Honda engine had to be replaced, so that the Frenchman is currently avoiding a grid penalty.

The session will be stopped a little earlier than planned, due to a loose manhole cover in turn fourteen. Qualifying for the Grand Prix of Portugal will be held on Saturday afternoon between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. Dutch time.

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