Max Verstappen qualified third for the Grand Prix of Tuscany on Saturday. The 22 year old Red Bull rider only had to put up with the Mercedesses of Lewis Hamilton (1st) and Valtteri Bottas (2nd) on the circuit of Mugello.
Conquering a good starting position was very important at Mugello, as overtaking at the super fast circuit will be very difficult during the race. The durability of the tyres will also be an important issue, although Verstappen already said Friday that the rubber kept better than expected.
Among the losers in Q1 was Pierre Gasly, who surprisingly triumphed at the chaotic Italian Grand Prix last week. The Frenchman, riding for AlphaTauri, will therefore start in 16th place on Sunday. Verstappen was just behind Hamilton and Bottas in all three sessions. His team mate at Red Bull, Alexander Albon, will start Sunday in fourth place.
Satisfaction at Verstappen
Verstappen did not expect to be able to fight Mercedes in qualifying. The differences are less than before. Nevertheless, the margin was still four tenths of a second on Hamiltons fastest time (1.15,144). The weekend is still promising. With a third place in qualifying we can be very satisfied, said Verstappen.
Once again Hamilton was the fastest. The 35-year old Briton has now conquered a pole position at 26 different GPs. This is a phenomenal and very challenging track. We have worked so hard the past few days on the set-up and on improving the driving lines. Today I finally drove the lap I wanted
Free practice sessions
In the three free practice sessions Max Verstappen showed with the second, third and second time, respectively, to be close to the Mercedes of Hamilton and Bottas. In the first session on Friday only Bottas was a fraction faster than the Red Bull driver. Later that day the Finn set the fastest time again. Team mate Lewis Hamilton was two tenths of a second slower, Verstappen was shortly behind. On Saturday Verstappen was again second fastest behind Bottas. The Limburg rider stayed ahead of Hamilton.
It is the first time that a Formula 1 race will be held at Mugello, so the motto was to gather as much data as possible and explore the track. The second practice session was stopped twice. First after a crash of Lando Norris and then after a strange touch between Sergio Pérez, who came out of the pit lane, and Kimi Räikkönen in the first corner. Pérez was punished with a grid penalty of one position.
The celebrating Ferrari achieved mixed results in qualifying. Sebastian Vettel came no further than fourteenth and dropped out after Q2. Charles Leclerc set fifth fastest time in Q3 thanks to a strong finale. On Sunday in Tuscany Ferrari will ride the 1000th Grand Prix in the history of the Italian race stable.
Also take a look at the results and the intermediate ranking in the battle for the world title in Formula 1.