Red Bull’s Sergio Perez beat championship rivals Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen to the quickest time in third and final practice for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
The Mexican, who won last time out in Monaco, clocked a 1m 43.170s on soft tyres to end the session 0.070s ahead of Leclerc with Verstappen two tenths further back in P3.
The start of the session was delayed by 15 minutes to allow time for barriers to be repaired following incidents in the F2 race.
Red Bull and Ferrari traded places at the top of the timesheets throughout, Leclerc and Carlos Sainz setting the early pace before the track ramped up and qualifying runs saw Perez set the benchmark. Verstappen missed out on a chance to improve having encountered Fernando Alonso’s Alpine, but Perez suffered a similar fate when he caught up to Alex Albon on his final flyer.
FORMULA 1 AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX 2022
Practice 3 results
|1 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing||1:43.170|
|2 Charles LECLERC Ferrari||+0.070s|
|3 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing||+0.279s|
|4 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari||+0.426s|
|5 Lando NORRIS McLaren||+1.248s|
Sainz ended up fourth quickest, 0.4s off the pace, with former team McLaren showing an impressive turn of pace as Lando Norris finished fifth and Daniel Ricciardo within a tenth of his team mate in sixth.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was seventh, ahead of the leading Mercedes of George Russell, the Briton 1.4s off the pace as the silver cars seemed to be struggling with significant porpoising once more.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel completed the top 10, ahead of Alonso, 11th, and Lewis Hamilton in P12.