And as Sergio Perez noted yesterday, Red Bull has had a slightly better pace in the long-distance simulation.
But everyone’s programs faltered in the middle of the session, after Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. crashed at Turn 9.
Given that the Spaniard’s car had stopped on the track, the race management decided to raise the red flag in order to remove the car and clean the track, which caused the teams to lose about a quarter of an hour.
That left Ferrari with a race against time to get the car fixed before the short race, especially after the front suspension was damaged.
The session resumed with 20 minutes remaining, as everyone rushed to enter to resume their simulations.
Hamilton then took the lead despite using “Hard” tyres, clocking 1:23.540 minutes.
Second place went to teammate Valtteri Bottas, who was back on soft tyres, while Verstappen settled for third at four tenths of a second and straight ahead of teammate Sergio Perez.
Esteban Ocon provided a good pace for Albin, finishing fifth in front of surprising Robert Kubica and Antonio Giovinazzi.
Fernando Alonso put the second Alpine car in eighth, while Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris completed the top ten.
And defending the colors of the wild horse at home, Charles Leclerc was satisfied with the 11th place after a series of laps on the “medium” tyres, before telling his team that he was unable to continue and asked to return to the pitlane.