F1’s back, and so is the rain! The entire session was very damp, with the track being completely unsuitable for dry running for the duration of the 1 hour session. Drivers stayed within the limits, and did not push extensively, with no crashes or cars damaged.
Spot the F1 car! 🧐
— Formula 1 (@F1) August 28, 2021
The session started wet, and Raikkonen came out on track but had to stop after just 3 laps, with a suspected car failure. The drivers kept the session clean, with no scrapes or bumps, just the odd lockup and taking the escape road when they had to. Many went off at Les Combes, at the end of the Kemmel Straight, as they pushed to find the limits. Many also took the escape road, as the track did not improve condistions-wise.
Around the midway mark, the track was in its best condition, with drivers able to post competitive and fast lap times. Verstappen lead the field, almost an entire second ahead of teammate Perez, and just over a second ahead of championship rival Hamilton.
For me, the only cause for concern is Bottas’ deficit to Hamilton, and the pace of all the Ferrari-powered cars. Ricciardo was also a fair way behind his teammate Norris, though this is still just a practice session, and any assumptions must be taken with a grain of salt.
The track conditions were quite wet, hence it’s a no-brainer as to why no one chose to go out on the dries. Norris went for a simple recon lap, in which the grip was obviously low. The only driver to have a big moment was Gasly, who had a small spin, sustaining no damage.
The major news was that the calendar modifications, which have now made the season a 22-race one, following the cancellation of the Japanese GP. Here’s the new proposed calendar (Credit:https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.breaking-formula-1-announces-revised-22-race-calendar-for-2021.6OaQqLr4jrU5Ia2va3sjkv.html)
|Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix 2021
|Formula 1 Heineken Gran Premio D’Italia 2021
|Formula 1 VTB Russian Grand Prix 2021
|Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix 2021
|Formula 1 Aramco United States Grand Prix 2021
|Formula 1 Grand Premio De La Ciudad De Mexico 2021
|Formula 1 Heineken Grande Premio De Sao Paulo 2021
|Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2021
|Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021
The late November race is likely to be the Qatar GP, with Mexico being the starting point for another triple-header. If the season finishes like this, it will still break the record for the most number of races held in a season, at 22. All the races are in quick succession, which will mean regular entertainment, and some high drama! Here’s the link to the full announcement.
FP3 might have been relatively uneventful, but the rest of the season sure promises to be amazing!