Le Castellet-World Championship leader Max Verstappen set the fastest time in the French Grand Prix practice at Circuit Paul Ricard on Friday, but the Red Bull driver was slightly faster than the two Mercedes cars.
The Dutch were only 0.008 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who took the lead in the first session, and Lewis Hamilton was only 0.253 seconds behind.
Verstappen switched to soft tyres in his second session to improve his time, and Bottas set the best time in the medium.
“It was a good end to the day, and we improved pretty well,” Verstappen said.
“It’s still really hard around here because the track is so open and pretty windy. That means it’s not always easy to nail the lap.
“It’s hard to say where we are tomorrow (Saturday), and you never know what people will find overnight.
“Sure it’s very tight and I’m hoping it won’t be easy.”
Hamilton, four points behind Verstappen after six rounds of the championship, complained of car balance issues during the race simulation.
“It’s been a lot of work this weekend, probably for everyone,” Hamilton said after the session.
“I don’t know if it’s the road surface, the road surface temperature, or these tires are inflated. We’re putting more pressure than ever before, but we’re all slipping around and struggling Everyone.
“That said, our time isn’t too bad. At least in the fight, we’re on the front line.”
This was a big improvement for Botta, who was sixth in the title race and faced regular rumors that he would be replaced by George Russell.
“The feeling is much better than it was two weeks ago (Baku),” the Finns said.
“We started with the right foot. I’m comfortable and pretty fast. The car is balanced and the tires are working well. That’s the main difference.”
The two Aston Martins also ran in the media where Sebastian Vettel crashed during the first session.
Mick Schumacher was another person who bumped into Haas’s wall.
Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest in Alpine and Charles Leclerc fifth in Ferrari.
The third practice session will take place on Saturday at 1000 GMT, followed by qualifying at 1300 GMT.
Max Verstappen is the fastest in French Grand Prix practice
Source link Max Verstappen is the fastest in French Grand Prix practice