In the dry, Mercedes was in their own league and Verstappen was in trouble. But the night and morning rains on the asphalt of the Intercity Istanbul Park have turned the situation around with Advantage for Red Bull and its first cousins: Gasly led the session ahead of Verstappen and Pérez, all three in the same second. In wet conditions, downforce prevails over power. And although it seems anecdotal, the rain forecast for qualifying this afternoon has increased slightly, from 40% to 60%, and that may alter the situation.
Other times, the water is conducive to car-free training on the track, but Turkey’s third free practice was fun. First, with extreme rain tires, Carlos Sainz commanded in a beautiful duel against Lando Norris. The Ferrari progresses and this weekend may surprise, the two red cars finished in the top-5 and defended themselves well in all conditions, extreme or mixed. Sainz finished fourth with Pirelli and Leclerc, fifth.
Alonso was sixth, although the time was not achieved so easily. Ocon was 15th and the Spaniard had a scare with a track start included. Although to Russell’s fright, As soon as he hit the tarmac, he lost control of the Williams, got stuck in the gravel and caused the only red flag of the session. That must have scared Hamilton, who did only five laps and returned to the garage so as not to jeopardize the weekend. Bottas didn’t roll much more. The rain was good for some, worse for Mercedes, with the unknown that the water returns in qualifying.