F1 – Leclerc quickest in final practice for Dutch Grand Prix ahead of Russell, Verstappen
Charles Leclerc set the pace in the final practice session ahead of qualifying for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix with the Ferrari driver lapping just under seven hundredths of a second quicker than Mercedes’ George Russell. World Championship leader Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull Racing.
The final 60 minutes of practice got off to a slow start, with only Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly out on track in the first minutes.
Pérez, looking to find a way forward for Red Bull after a difficult Friday during which both its drivers struggled with balance, took to the circuit on soft compound Pirelli tyres and on his first run he set a time with a 1:13.792. in his Red Bull on soft tyres. He then lowered the benchmark to 1:13.603 but was quickly on the radio to report that was still not happy with the rear of his car.
Verstappen headed out on track after 10 minutes, also on softs, and the runaway title championship immediately went 1.2s faster than his team-mate with a lap of 1:12.309. However, the Dutchman also complained of a lack of grip on his opening run.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz slotted into second for Ferrari, a second slower than Verstappen, with a lap of 1:13.309 and as such the Spanish driver was quickly deposed by Russell who stopped the clock at 1:12.934 on softs, while Leclerc took fourth place on 1:13.384.
Sainz improved to 1:12.917 to retake P2 but Verstappen stretched ahead and his lap of 1:12.196s left him 0.7s ahead of Sainz, who was then shuffled back by Leclerc who posted a time of 1:12.720 to take second and by Hamilton who moved to third place with a lap of 1:12.823. Hamilton went for another run but was unhappy on the radio after encountering the slow-running AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda on the apex of Turn 7.
After a lull in proceedings, Sainz was back on track with 20 minutes left and the Ferrari driver moved back to the top of the timesheet with a 1:11.971, 0.2s clear of Verstappen. Leclerc sat in third, while Alex Albon moved up to fourth for Williams, ahead of the two Mercedes. The Williams man was then deposed by Lance Stroll who took fourth for Aston Martin, before team-mate Sebastian Vettel went up to third ahead of Leclerc.
The Monegasque driver was on a quali lap, however, and he set purple times in all three sectors of the circuit to post a P1 time of 1:11.632. Russell then went second in his Mercedes, just 0.066s adrift of Leclerc but ahead of Sainz.
With 10 minutes left in the session, Verstappen emerged for another flying lap and he improved to third on 1:11.793, just under two tenths of a second off Leclerc and ahead of Sainz, while Pérez moved up to sixth behind Hamilton.
2022 FIA Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:11.632 20 214.044
2 George Russell Mercedes 1:11.698 0.066 24 213.846
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:11.793 0.161 22 213.563
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:11.971 0.339 17 213.035
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:12.156 0.524 25 212.489
6 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:12.176 0.544 29 212.430
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:12.327 0.695 16 211.987
8 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:12.491 0.859 25 211.507
9 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:12.558 0.926 15 211.312
10 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:12.591 0.959 18 211.216
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:12.606 0.974 15 211.172
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:12.773 1.141 18 210.688
13 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1:12.775 1.143 18 210.682
14 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:13.003 1.371 20 210.024
15 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:13.046 1.414 23 209.900
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:13.256 1.624 22 209.298
17 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:13.299 1.667 20 209.176
18 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:13.359 1.727 15 209.005
19 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:13.421 1.789 14 208.828
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:13.625 1.993 22 208.249