A sparse crowd and close shots on television of two VIPs, namely Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, present in the boxes of the F1 teams to watch a new demonstration by Max Verstappen, fastest time in EL3 (1’27” 535) . It was not easy to get the Americans excited during this third driving session. Not enough adrenaline. Laps to understand on the driver side, to fine-tune the settings, a package difficult to decipher for the local public.
You might as well take a look at Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, invited to the wall by McLaren and Elon Musk, Mr. Tesla, Mr. Space X, Mr. Twitter, host of Red Bull. They at least had, headsets on their ears, rights to radio exchanges and live news delivered by the bosses of the two teams flattered to receive two of the richest men in the world.
Verstappen ahead of Leclerc
By casting a distracted eye on the control screens, American billionaires must have thought that F1 can be very repetitive. Midway through the session Max Verstappen had already taken the lead in lap times ahead of the two Ferraris and Sergio Perez, all relegated between five tenths and one second behind. Not even a track exit to comment on. No Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) in top or Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) king Friday of the straight that ends in the tarpaulins. At most the new laments of George Russell (Mercedes) complaining as during the FP1 of dirty vibrations in his steering wheel.
At the end of the session, with the last minutes devoted to the draft of the qualifying rounds, we would logically find Max Verstappen ahead of Charles Leclerc at 0”406, Sergio Perez (0”515) and Carlos Sainz (0 ”590).
Alpine finds colors, Aston Martin and Mercedes in withdrawal
Behind the two teams of untouchables, the good news came from Alpine, with Esteban Ocon (5th) and Pierre Gasly (6th), both nine tenths behind Max Verstappen. It is up to them to confirm, from 10 p.m., in qualifying under the simultaneously protective and tense gaze of Luca de Meo, the big boss of the Renault group, who has come to put a good deal of pressure on his troops who are in very bad shape in this start of the season.
A little further on, we find the two disappointing Aston Martins this weekend for the moment with the 12th time for Fernando Alonso and the 14th for Lance Stroll. Same remark for Mercedes. George Russell (10th) and Lewis Hamilton (13th) frequent abnormal areas for them. The qualification to come looks undecided. And that’s good.