The third free practice took place at the 2020 Formula 1 Tuscany Grand Prix. The last 60-minute practice – like the first two – was won by Valtteri Bottas with Mercedes, ahead of Red Bull Max Verstappent duo and teammate Lewis Hamilton.
The pilots were able to start circling in Mugello at an air temperature of 27 degrees and an asphalt temperature of 39 degrees. First, Haas rider Kevin Magnussen drove to the field. He was followed by several, but the early minutes were all about warming up for everyone.
Kevin is first onto the circuit!
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) September 12, 2020
The real work only started just over twenty minutes after the pit lane opened, but Bottas ran the first measured lap in the first ten minutes: the Mercedes Finn opened at 1: 17,437. However, we only got a full picture of the current order of strength around halfway. Thirty minutes before the end of training, Bottas led by 59 milliseconds ahead of Verstappen, Hamilton’s time at the time was enough for third place. They were followed by Lance Stroll with Racing Point, ahead of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari. Monaco was already nine tenths of a second behind Bottas, but Sebastian Vettel was even slower with the other burgundy car: he was only 15th behind with a 1.8-second lead.
– Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) September 12, 2020
Verstappen had no rest, the Dutchman continued circling on the medium tires until he got around faster in Mugello than Bottas, who had previously tried the soft ones. Meanwhile, Williamses George Russell lost a lot of track time due to a brake failure, making only one lead-out even at the start of training.
A good quarter of an hour before the end of training, Mercedes drivers then switched to fresh soft tires and had no mercy: both Bottas and Hamilton gave half a second to Verstappen’s best so far, but the Finn was 83 thousandth faster than the six-time world champion.
Mugello 🥰 pic.twitter.com/JEUXqd4OLg
– Mercedes-AMG F1 (@ MercedesAMGF1) September 12, 2020
Towards the end of the training, several people improved a lot, the usual strength order was a bit disturbed: AlphaTaurik looked good, led by the fresh race winner Pierre Gasly, but Danyiil Kvjat also made it into the top ten. Racing Point was even better, with Stroll temporarily reaching Verstappen in third place. Vettel, meanwhile, was stuck at the end of the field: even Nicholas Latifi overtook him with Williams.
In the end, Verstappen, like the others, put on the soft tires, which ended up being only 17 milliseconds behind Bottas ’best, splitting the Mercedes pair in two. The order of the lead did not change until the end, the fastest trio was followed by the “sister teams”, the two Racing Points sandwiched Gasly’s AlphaTauri. Leclerc finished seventh with Ferrari, ahead of Alexander Albon’s Red Bull, Kvjat and Romain Grosjean Haasa. Sebastian Vettel ended up only 18th, just ahead of Lando Norris McLaren and Russell Williams without a measured lap.
The timing of the Tuscan Grand Prix starts at 3 pm Hungarian time.