Lewis Hamilton came out on top of rival Max Verstappen and teammate Valtteri Bottas after an interesting session animated by drivers testing the limits of the track before qualifying.

The Haas of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin came out first on the hard tires as soon as the session started. The rest of the grid came out a bit later as FP3 got off to a slow start with the cars leaving the garage 15 minutes into the session.

Hamilton topped the session, finishing 0.2s over Max Verstappen. However, Verstappen’s qualifying simulation was interrupted with traffic as he had Latifi in his way in Sector 1, comprising him by around 0.2s. Redbull’s Sergio Perez was around 0.4s behind Verstappen.

Bottas, who has picked up a 3-place grid penalty for dangerous driving in the pitlane in FP2 finished the session close to 0.5s off his teammate Lewis Hamilton.

The Alpha Tauris had a strong session finishing fifth and sixth with Tsunoda 0.2s ahead of Gasly.

Mclaren’s Lando Norris gave us a glimpse of his pace with fifteen minutes to spare on the clock as he entered the top 5. However, a track limits violation at turn 10 caused the deletion of the lap time. Daniel Ricciardo was surprisingly off the pace finishing the session P17.

Through FP3, Turn 9 and 10 seemed to be the most notorious for track limit violations as it was catching all the drivers off guard. The final two turns of the circuits are expected to make the qualifying session more exciting.

Strong tailwinds at Turn 1 also surprised some drivers as Vettel ran off track, seemingly caused by the tailwind. The halfway mark of the session saw Mazepin spin as he was exiting turn 1.

The Red Bull looked quicker than the Mercedes through the slow-speed corners 1 and 2. The Aston Martins also showed decent pace as they finished the session within the top 10, Vettel finishing 0.1s off his teammate.

Fernando Alonso also showed a strong pace in his Alpine as he finished the session 0.3s ahead of Ocon.

The top 10 of the session is as follows:

PositionDriverTeam Time Gap
1Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:04.369
2Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:04.573+0.204s
3Valterri BottasMERCEDES1:04.832+0.463s
4Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA1:05.026+0.657s
5Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA1:05.150+0.781s
6Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA1:05.298+0.929s
7Charles LeclercFERRARI1:05.340+0.971s
8Fernando AlonsoALPINE RENAULT1:05.400+1.031s
9Lance StrollASTON MARTIN MERCEDES1:05.445+1.076s
10Sebastian VettelASTON MARTIN MERCEDES1:05.492+1.123s
Formula 1 2021 Styrian Grand Prix – FP1 top 10

I’m an Indian who aspires to be a motorsports journalist. My involved interest in motorsports, especially in the Formula series, is driven by the stakes and need for perfection required on and off track.