It was interesting today at the driving training at the Nurburgring. Some results were expected, but some were somewhat unexpected. However, nothing surprises us anymore from Formula 1, and the special charm of following Formula 1 is precisely the surprises that keep us in our seats and make this sport so special.
Valtteri Bottas drove a record-breaking lap in the first training session for the Eiffel Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in cold and sunny conditions, and the surprise of the training was Charles Leclerc's third place in Ferrari until Lance Stroll did not perform well because he could not miss qualifying.
Bottas drove 1: 26.225 on soft Pirelli tires, which this weekend represent the C4 component, a second and a half faster than the previous track record held by Sato in the BAR Honda from the first qualifications in 2004, and Hamilton was after several mistakes in his fast laps.
managed to drive the second fastest lap, a tenth behind Bottas.
Leclerc and Vettel
Leclerc and Vettel surprised by setting the third and fifth fastest times in the final minutes of training, but Leclerc was 0.357 s faster than Vettel and just three tenths behind Hamilton after Ferrari brought a few more improvements to the aero package of its SF1000.
Verstappen split the Ferraris in fourth place for Red Bull, but unlike them, he didn’t set his fastest time in the final minutes of training while the track was the fastest. Stroll did not drive the third practice because he was not feeling well and Hulkenberg arrived at the Nurburgring and there is a possibility that he will replace him for the rest of the weekend if the Canadian is not ready to qualify at 15:00.
Norris was a faster McLaren driver in sixth place and was the last driver to be less than a second behind Bottas, and Perez spent most of his training on medium tires simulating longer distances and only drove a fast lap in the last minutes on the soft that brought him in seventh place, 0.047 s ahead of Ricciardo in Renault.
Albon was six tenths slower than Verstappen even though he was close in the first part of training, and finished ninth, a tenth ahead of Gasly in AlphaTauri. Ocon separated the AlphaTauri drivers in 11th place for Renault, and Sainz was only 13th fastest in the second McLaren, 1.7 s behind Bottas and 0.032 s ahead of Raikkonen who was the faster Alfa Romeo driver.
Haas drivers took 15th and 16th place ahead of Russell who was faster than Giovinazzi and teammate Latifi. Qualifiers are scheduled for 3 p.m.