The Monegasque from Ferrari was suddenly concerned when he felt the voice of the world champion inside his cockpit as he turned into Portimao. Was it just interference?
While the Finn Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) signed the full best times in the free sessions prior to qualifying for the Portuguese Grand Prix, twelfth round of the Formula 1 championship, all eyes on the Algarve International Autodrome were taken by an unusual talk between the Monegasque Charles Leclerc and one of his Ferrari engineers who became a trend on social networks.
The dialogue was unmissable and occurred while Leclerc was turning aboard the Prancing Horse in the last test in which he set the sixth best time on soft tires.
Leclerc: -What’s going on? I am listening to the radio of others.
Ferrari: –What do you hear
Leclerc: -I hear Hamilton and an engineer.
Ferrari: –It should be fixed by now.
Even the official Formula 1 Twitter account took note of the incident and even laughed with a couple of radio emoticons and a doubt emoji. Interference? One from James Bond? Surely the story will not end there. The speed with which he solved the problem drew attention among fans.
For the moment, everything was there. And it was, in part, due to the excellent work of Bottas, second in the World Cup standings, that he stopped the clock at 1m16s654 in the third practice, this Saturday, on soft tires, ahead of his teammate, Lewis Hamilton.
The Finn soon broke his best time on Friday and alternated first with Hamilton throughout training. The Briton was more comfortable than on the eventful opening day of the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) joined the bid for the best time of the day after his controversial clash with Canadian Lance Stroll (Racing Point), an incident that was investigated but had no consequences.
Even with medium tires, ‘Mad’ Max provisionally set the fastest time in the third free practice, a record that he could not lower on the soft ones.
The Alpha Tauri of Frenchman Pierre Gasly, winner of the Italian Grand Prix, lagged behind the two Mercedes and Verstappen’s Red Bull, in fourth place, while Mexican Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez was eighth.
The Portuguese asphalt is taking hold and the drivers are also adapting to the track, but in the third practice there were new rides on the gravel, including one from Hamilton, oversteering like the ones Sainz starred in and exits from the limits of the track that canceled times.
Difficulties in keeping the car on the track due to the design of the circuit, the asphalt and the wind, were added, in the case of Australian Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), problems with the DSR that relegated him to the fourteenth fastest time.
The last free session in Portimao ended with a red flag on the track due to the breakage of a water drainage grid at the exit of the penultimate corner. This forced the cars to finish training in the pits, which prevented them from rehearsing starts for the Sunday race.
With information from EFE