The surface cover issue started the session: Grosjean tested the young age of the new building. The problems involve the outlap before the shot time, where tyres covered with the clunky chemical send vibrations to the wheel drive. Top teams may decide to imitate Ferrari for the box exit: car on the sliders and start from the pit lane; a reminder of the old ‘70s pits.
Another theme for the race pit stops is the position of the car during then tyre change: Red Bull, Mercedes and Renault repositioned the slots oblique towards the exit or the exit; a different strategy for claiming a better entrance or start.
Lots of gearbox changes during Friday night: being the 7th race this is the first drop of the maintenance cycle.
Kubica set the first time of the session: he will fill the back with #63 Russell.
After the first fifteen minutes, nearly half of cars were on track, counting both Ferrari: big commitment shown for the chance of a good result at Maranello garage.
Stop for Stroll at the midway time: white smoke and backfire at the very first metres of the pit lane. Big rush of the mechanics, immediately at work on the right side of the local idol.
First battle between Leclerc and Hamilton: the Monegasque and Vettel were the only under the wall of 1’12”; the Friday telemetry analysis proved to be real on Saturday: the Silver Arrows seems to suffer the last sector respect to the Cavallino team. Moreover, balanced performances within all the teams, being all teammates near to each other.
Another groundhog on track, spotted from Raikkonen: being the circuit immersed in the city park island animals haven’t plenty of choices of space.
Mercedes seem to have recovered from the graining issues, even with the higher track temperatures. Bottas opened the last quarter with a first position with only less than a hundredth of margin: immediate response of the Ferraris, with Leclerc over almost half a second on Vettel and 2 tenth on Hamilton.
At ’10 minutes to go #16 is the first man of the weekend to be under the 1’11”. In 5th place a good performance of Norris, ahead of Verstappen and Albon.
Vettel claims the provisional pole with entry to the 1’10” club.
Still aerodynamics study on the Gasly's Red Bull even at the end of the FP3.
Huge work going on the Haas of Grosjean: the rear cover unscrewed and a group of mechanics working probably on the hydraulics.Big recover from the Honda engines, closing up to the Mercedes and Ferrari ones.