We’re back for more action here at the beautiful and demanding track at Zandvoort, and it has already been a busy morning. Prior to the FP3 and upon his arrival on the track Kimi Raikkonen tested positive for COVID-19, meaning he will miss the rest of the Dutch GP and will be replaced by Robert Kubica in the car, as an unexpected turnover of this morning. This weekend has not been easy for anybody and it seems to get more interesting minute by minute. Additionally, Max Verstappen was called to the stewards for allegedly overtaking under the red flag during FP2, but he’s been cleared and no penalty has been given.
FP3 began with the track temperature of 27C and air temperature of 17C. The sky has been clearing up and there is some nice sun shining through, just like yesterday. With the green flag some took it to the track immediately, in order to get some grip on how the track feels today, also due to the big amount of red flags during the Friday sessions and no proper running throughout the day.
Kubica was the first one to set a timed lap, with the time of 1:15.854s. Although everybody needs the track time, Kubica’s task this weekend has been definitely harder than for others, concerning he only has one session prior to the qualifying that will take part later today. But undoubtedly, the sight of Kubica back in the Alfa Romeo car although devastating for Raikkonen fans, definitely makes some other fans very, very happy.
In the first 10 minutes of the session, surprising only 7 cars went out to the track - surprisingly because due to the lack of proper running we’ve got yesterday, it was predicted once again there will be a train of cars leaving the pitlane the moment the green lights turn on. At that point of the session, that was not the case.
15 minutes into the session, Fernando Alonso set the fastest lap in his Alpine, with the time of 1:11.996s. Behind him, Lewis Hamilton, had the time of 1:12.010s. On third spot we’ve got Lando Norris, with the time 1:12.134s. The rest behind them was: Ricciardo, Giovinazzi, Tsunoda, Schumacher, Mazepin, Kubica and Gasly.
Sebastian Vettel found himself travelling outside of the track, but was able to rejoin and continue without an issue.
The session has been soon red flagged, after Carlos Sainz crashed in by turn 3. This is definitely a hard spot for everybody, as we’ve seen crashes and spins there already in W Series and F3. It seems like no F1 session is allowed at Zandvoort without a red flag.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Carlos Sainz loses the rear and hits the wall on the entry to Turn 3 <br><br>Thankfully he is okay and gets out of his car. We are now under a red flag whilst we wait for the track to be cleared<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DutchGP?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DutchGP</a> 🇳🇱 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#F1</a> <a href="https://t.co/PQCVaVpZQC">pic.twitter.com/PQCVaVpZQC</a></p>— Formula 1 (@F1) <a href="https://twitter.com/F1/status/1434099902800347138?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 4, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The car was pretty fast removed from the track and the session went on again. A majority of the drivers lined up in the pitlane and went out immediately.
With 20 minutes left on the clock, we’ve got Verstappen on P1 with the time of 1:10.670s, followed by Norris and Bottas. The rest in the top 10 were: Gasly, Leclerc, Alonso, Perez, Sainz, Hamilton, and Giovinazzi. Lando Norris had a travel to the gravel in turn 9, but was able to get on the track again and continue.
Shortly before the end of the session, the top 10 was: Verstappen, the local hero, with the fastest time of 1:09.623s, followed by Bottas, Hamilton, Perez, Alonso, Norris, Vettel, Leclerc, Gasly and Ricciardo. The rest of the session went without disruption, beside Mick Schumacher’s short outing on the gravel and Charles Leclerc’s troubles by Turn 11, but no incidents occurred.
Final classification after FP3 at Zandvoort:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here's how FP3 played out ⬇️<br><br>Who has been impressing you most so far this weekend?<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DutchGP?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DutchGP</a> 🇳🇱 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/F1?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#F1</a> <a href="https://t.co/YwXrc2GlU7">pic.twitter.com/YwXrc2GlU7</a></p>— Formula 1 (@F1) <a href="https://twitter.com/F1/status/1434109950255669249?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 4, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>