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Sainz smashes Ferrari into banking barrier as Verstappen sets final practice scorcher

Sainz smashes Ferrari into banking barrier as Verstappen sets final practice scorcher

F1 News

Sainz smashes Ferrari into banking barrier as Verstappen sets final practice scorcher

Sainz smashes Ferrari into banking barrier as Verstappen sets final practice scorcher

Max Verstappen scorched Zandvoort with a blistering lap in a final practice session for the Dutch Grand Prix disrupted by a heavy shunt for Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.

Verstappen produced a stunning time of one minute 09.623secs to the delight of the packed grandstands, finishing over half-a-second quicker than Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, with Lewis Hamilton third quickest, almost eight-tenths of a second down.

For the fourth time across the three sessions, though, the red flags were brought out as Sainz lost the rear of his SF21 on the approach to the banking into turn three.

Emerging out of the second corner, Sainz appeared to be carrying too much speed, which threw him out of kilter across the camber change into the left-hand banking.

Braking heavily, and turning through 180 degrees, Sainz instantly hit a barrier with the left front of his car, the impact spinning him around and leading to the rear of the car also smacking hard into the barrier.

Sainz claimed to be at a loss as to what had occurred, albeit leaving Ferrari in a race to get his car ready for qualifying, and potentially facing a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

Following a 12-minute delay, and with Verstappen yet to take to the track 31 minutes into the hour-long run, the Dutch driver's first flying lap on the medium compound saw him move to the top of the timesheet with a one minute 11.225secs.

Verstappen's advantage was short-lived, though, as Bottas usurped him by 0.008s, albeit on the soft-compound tyre.

Continuing on the mediums, Verstappen then set the best time of the weekend with a 1:10.702s, but as the times tumbled, Alonso shaved 0.032s off that on the softs.

Bottas then returned to the head of affairs almost half-a-second ahead of Alonso, only for Verstappen to blitz the circuit on his soft-tyre run by setting a 1:09.623s.

Verstappen was aided in the final sector by a tow from team-mate Sergio Perez. That led to a chuckle over the radio from the F1 title challenger who said: "Hey guys, last sector doesn't get any better than that thanks to the tow."

Red Bull's Sergio Perez, following a tricky Friday for the Mexican, was the only other driver within a second of Verstappen, finishing 0.903s adrift.

Alonso finished fifth quickest ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris and Aston Martin duo Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel.

The second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, who was quickest on Friday, was down in ninth on this occasion, 1.273s adrift, with AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly completing the top 10.

Robert Kubica, poised for his first grand prix since the end of 2019 as he substitutes for Covid-hit Kimi Raikkonen, finished 19th in the Alfa Romeo, 2.539s down, with Mick Schumacher in his Haas propping up the standings, 2.743s off the pace.

Dutch Grand Prix final practice results

1. Max Verstappen [Red Bull] 1:09.623

2. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes] +0.556

3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes] +0.794

4. Sergio Perez [Red Bull] +0.903

5. Fernando Alonso [Alpine] +1.047

6. Lando Norris [McLaren] +1.158

7. Lance Stroll [Aston Martin] +1.219

8. Sebastian Vettel [Aston Martin] +1.249

9. Charles Leclerc [Ferrari] +1.273

10. Pierre Gasly [AlphaTauri] +1.382

11. Daniel Ricciardo [McLaren] +1.390

12. Nicholas Latifi [Williams] +1.460

13. Esteban Ocon [Alpine] +1.557

14. George Russell [Williams] +1.651

15. Antonio Giovinazzi [Alfa Romeo] +1.676

16. Carlos Sainz [Ferrari] +2.317

17. Yuki Tsunoda [AlphaTauri] +2.357

18. Nikita Mazepin [Haas] +2.513

19. Robert Kubica [Alfa Romeo] +2.539

20. Mick Schumacher [Haas] +2.743

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