The main information of the morning fell even before the third free session. Ferrari has, so to speak, changed everything on the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, already condemned to start dead last this Sunday at 8 p.m. following a rain of penalties. The Monegasque will share the last row with Yuki Tsunoda who also changed engine for the fourth time on his Alphatauri.
It was under the halberds that this third session was fought out during which the main favorites did not turn much, Max Verstappen (9th at 780 thousandths) and Sergio Pérez (8th at 0.662) completing only a few laps at the end session, not without each committing one or the other fault in what is admittedly extremely difficult conditions.
In the end, as often on a wet track, it was those who completed the most laps who occupied the top of the hierarchy, the intermediate tires working better than the rubbers for heavy rain during the last quarter of an hour.
For the first time in a very long time, it was Fernando Alonso who set the best time of this session. The Alpine driver was ahead of Frenchman Pierre Gasly, freshly confirmed at Alphatauri for 2023, by 53 thousandths and Sébastien Vettel’s Aston Martin by 55 thousandths.
Esteban Ocon on the second Alpine was in 4th place at 167 thousandths ahead of the two McLarens of Daniel Ricciardo (0.274) and Lando Norris at 0.412.
Seventh at 423 thousandths, George Russell was the first of the drivers to stay on tires with large grooves.
Carlos Sainz on the only Ferrari credited with a time closed the Top 10 ahead of the Alfas of Bottas and Zhou, while Lewis Hamilton had to settle for the 15th time at 1.856.
Locals Lance Stroll and Nicholas Latifi couldn’t do better than thirteenth and nineteenth.
Qualifying will start at 10 p.m., presumably on a wet track.