Event: Australian Grand Prix
Track: Albert Park Circuit

Weather: dry 18.2°C
Tarmac: dry  26.8°C
Humidity: 61%
Wind: 7.2 km/h South

Melbourne, Australia - F1 Australian Grand Prix Practice Report

In the bustling Albert Park, Melbourne, the Formula 1 paddock wrapped up its final preparations with the third practice session ahead of the much-anticipated 2024 Australian Grand Prix. The session underscored an evolving competitive landscape, with Charles Leclerc of Ferrari setting the pace, edging out Red Bull's Max Verstappen by the slimmest of margins, heralding what promises to be a thrilling qualifying showdown.

Leclerc's ascension to the top of the timing sheets, by a mere 0.020 seconds over Verstappen, not only sets the stage for an electrifying qualifying but also signifies Ferrari's burgeoning momentum. With teammate Carlos Sainz showcasing formidable pace, Ferrari looks poised to challenge Red Bull's recent dominance. Verstappen, a pole-sitter in the season's opening races, faces a formidable challenge from a resurgent Leclerc, who has historically excelled in Melbourne's challenging circuit.

Williams, facing logistical hurdles, navigated the weekend with a single chassis after Alex Albon's mishap in the opening session left them without a spare. The team's decision to prioritize Albon for the remainder of the weekend speaks volumes about their strategic calculations, focusing on optimizing their scoring potential in a tightly contested midfield battle.

Halfway the session the top 10 was: 1. Carlos Sainz- 1:16.791 (M), 2. Charles Leclerc +0.296 (M), 3. Max Verstappen +0.0.309 (M), 4. Sergio Perez +0.359 (M), 5. Lewis Hamilton +0.763 (S), 6. Lance Stroll +1.012 (S), 7. Fernando Alonso +1.069 (S), 8. Oscar Piastri +1.087 (S), 9. Kevin Magnussen +1.199 (S) & 10. Nico Hulkenberg +1.219 (S).

Aston Martin's Mike Krack shared insights into the evolving tire strategies, emphasizing the adaptability required in response to Melbourne's variable weather conditions. The softer tire compounds, while offering blistering pace, introduce strategic quandaries, balancing the quest for immediate performance against the imperative of race longevity.

As the paddock braces for qualifying, the margins are razor-thin. Mercedes appears to be in a tussle with McLaren for supremacy, with both teams closely matched and vying for a strategic advantage. Aston Martin finds itself in a solid position within the top ten, with their sights firmly set on Q3 ambitions.

The session's close competitive gaps hint at a qualifying session that could be anyone's game. With tire choices playing a pivotal role and the field closely bunched, strategists and drivers alike will need to be at their absolute best to navigate the intricacies of Albert Park's demanding layout.

As the engines cool and the teams delve into their data, the stage is set for a qualifying battle that promises to be as unpredictable as it is exhilarating. The strategic decisions made in the coming hours could very well define the trajectory of the 2024 Australian Grand Prix, underscoring the relentless pursuit of perfection that defines the pinnacle of motorsport.

The fastest sector times during this FP3 for the 2024 Australian F1 GP were:

  1. Sector 1: 26.548 sec. by George Russell (Mercedes W15)
  2. Sector 2: 17.364 sec. by Max Verstappen (Red Bull RB20)
  3. Sector 3: 32.504 sec. by Carlos Sainz (Ferrari SF-24)

Last years quickest lap in FP3 was a 1:17,565 min driven by Max Verstappen with the Red Bull RB19.

FP3 Times Table 2024 Australian GP

P No Driver Team Time 1st Gap Laps Tyres
1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:16,714 22 S
2 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:16,734 +0,020s 28 M
3 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:16,791 +0,077s 20 M
4 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:16,806 +0,092s 20 S
5 63 George Russell Mercedes 1:16,886 +0,172s 23 S
6 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:16,997 +0,283s 20 S
7 11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:17,014 +0,300s 28 S
8 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:17,087 +0,373s 19 S
9 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:17,341 +0,627s 22 S
10 4 Lando Norris McLaren 1:17,490 +0,776s 22 S
11 22 Yuki Tsunoda Racing Bulls 1:17,673 +0,959s 19 S
12 77 Valtteri Bottas Sauber 1:17,752 +1,038s 20 S
13 23 Alex Albon Williams 1:17,759 +1,045s 23 S
14 24 Zhou Guanyu Sauber 3:27,876 +11,162s 19 S
15 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:17,920 +1,206s 18 S
16 27 Nico Hülkenberg Haas 1:17,941 +1,227s 17 S
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:17,961 +1,247s 18 S
18 3 Daniel Ricciardo Racing Bulls 1:17,963 +1,249s 20 S
19 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:19,390 +2,676s 19 S
20 2 Logan Sargeant Williams no time - 0 S

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