Max fourth in frustrating final practice session
Published on 16 September 2023 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen finished the third and final practice session of the Singapore Grand Prix in fourth position. The Dutchman was three tenths off the pace set by Ferrrari’s Carlos Sainz, who was quickest ahead of George Russell in the Mercedes. McLaren’s Lando Norris completed the top three.
At the start of FP3, Max heads out on the medium Pirelli tyre. Although the championship leader is among the front runners, his subsequent timed laps keep him in the top four on the leaderboards, Max is not enjoying the RB19. He reports to the team that the upshifts are a particular source of frustration.
At the halfway mark, Russell is quickest ahead of Sainz and Max, with most drivers mainly utilising the medium and hard compounds.
For the second half of the session, attention shifts initially to qualifying simulations with a switch to the red side-walled soft Pirellis. Alex Albon (Williams), Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) are among the first to utilise the extra grip and enter the top five.
Meanwhile, Max also switches to the soft tyres and is able to bounce back near the sharp end of the charts. Despite the upshifts improving, the Red Bull Racer notifies the team that more work needs done to improve the situation.
In the final quarter of the session, the order of the Friday practice sessions is restored with Ferrari enjoying a resurgence with Sainz clocking the best time of FP3. George Russell (P2), Lando Norris (P3) and Max (P4) ensure that the top four spots are occupied by four different teams indicating a tight battle for pole position might be on the cards.
|3||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||1:32.303||+0.238s||16|
|4||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||1:32.378||+0.313s||20|
|7||Oscar Piastri||PIA||McLaren Mercedes||1:32.730||+0.665s||17|
|8||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||1:32.784||+0.719s||19|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||HUL||Haas Ferrari||1:32.896||+0.831s||17|
|10||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||1:32.945||+0.880s||17|
|11||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||1:32.970||+0.905s||15|
|12||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||1:32.979||+0.914s||18|
|13||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:33.051||+0.986s||18|
|14||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:33.126||+1.061s||22|
|15||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Alpine Renault||1:33.351||+1.286s||18|
|16||Liam Lawson||LAW||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||1:33.357||+1.292s||18|
|17||Alexander Albon||ALB||Williams Mercedes||1:33.370||+1.305s||14|
|18||Valtteri Bottas||BOT||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:33.540||+1.475s||25|
|19||Zhou Guanyu||ZHO||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:33.637||+1.572s||23|
|20||Logan Sargeant||SAR||Williams Mercedes||1:33.708||+1.643s||15|