Max Verstappen made it a sweep of fastest lap times in all three practice sessions at the Spanish Grand Prix despite the Red Bull driver shooting down team orders to pick up the pace during the rain-hit P3 on Saturday.
Formula One’s two-time defending champion and current points leader will aim for a fifth pole position in seven races later.
Near the end, Verstappen reacted firmly to team orders to pick up the pace, saying it wasn’t worth the risk. “I don’t really feel comfortable to push in these conditions,” he twice told his team by radio.
It rained lightly throughout the hour-long session, and the slippery surface may have played a part in some wobbles by drivers.
Charles Leclerc had his Ferrari almost go off course, while Lance Stroll took a trip through the gravel before keeping his Aston Martin on course.
American rookie Logan Sargeant was not so lucky. He spun his Williams into the barrier. Sargeant said he was “fine” after profusely apologising to his team for the incident that brought out a red flag. The 22-year-old driver from Fort Lauderdale is searching for his first point.
Verstappen topped both of Friday’s incident-free practice sessions held under dry conditions as well.
Verstappen and teammate Sergio Pérez have swept all six wins this season. Verstappen leads Pérez by 39 points and Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin by 51.
The race is on Sunday.
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