Formula 1

FP3: Verstappen leads Leclerc and Sainz in final Austin practice session

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen topped the timesheets during final practice for the United States Grand Prix, finishing comfortably clear of Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz thanks to a late flying lap.

At a hot but windy Circuit of The Americas, Verstappen bounced back from a mistake at the start of his qualifying-style run on the soft compound tyre to pump in a 1m 35.825s – some three-tenths quicker than Leclerc managed.

Leclerc was left to rue a “very, very messy lap” on the red-marked rubber, with the Monegasque also bracing himself for a 10-place grid penalty after taking on a new engine and turbocharger ahead of qualifying.


Practice 3 results

1  Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing 1:35.825
2  Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.320s
3  Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.446s
4  Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +0.572s
5  Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.576s

Lap times aside, FP3 served as a much-needed routine outing after several drivers missed opening practice to give rookies some F1 track time and Friday’s second session focused on prototype 2023 tyre testing for Pirelli.

Behind the top four, Lewis Hamilton was the ‘best of the rest’ for Mercedes, while Fernando Alonso – another driver with an engine penalty – split the Silver Arrows by putting his Alpine in front of George Russell.

Aston Martin enjoyed another encouraging session, as Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll took P8 and P9 respectively (the only negative being a pit lane speeding fine for the latter), with Pierre Gasly rounding out the top 10 positions in his AlphaTauri.

Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris led the charge for their respective Alfa Romeo and McLaren teams, followed by the other Alpine of Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas.

Categories: Formula 1, Practice Results

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