Motor racing: AlphaTauri's Gasly quickest in wet final F1 practice in Turkey

AlphaTauri's French driver Pierre Gasly drives during a practice session at the Intercity Istanbul Park in Istanbul on Oct 9, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL (REUTERS) - Frenchman Pierre Gasly was fastest for AlphaTauri in a wet final practice on Saturday (Oct 9) for the Turkish Grand Prix, with Formula One championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who has a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday's race, doing only five laps.

The Briton's main title rival Max Verstappen, two points adrift of the Mercedes driver (246.5 points) with seven races remaining, was second fastest for Red Bull with Mexican teammate Sergio Perez third.

The 2020 Italian race winner Gasly's time of 1min 30.447sec was way slower compared to Hamilton's best of 1:23.804 in dry conditions in Friday practice.

The Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz, who starts from the back of the grid due to engine penalties, and Charles Leclerc were fourth and fifth but the times meant little on a track drying later on.

Hamilton was 18th after a session at the Istanbul Park Circuit that was briefly red-flagged halfway through when the Briton's future teammate George Russell beached his Williams in the gravel at turn 2.

Qualifying follows later on Saturday, with the seven-time F1 world champion needing to secure pole to limit the damage caused by the 10-place drop due to exceeding his engine allocation for the season.

The weather forecast for the session is mixed, with possible patches of rain.

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