F1 – Verstappen quickest in final practice for US Grand Prix as Leclerc set for grid drop

Max Verstappen topped the time sheet in the final practice session ahead of qualifying for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, beating Charles Leclerc by three tenths of a second. Leclerc, though, is set for a grid penalty for the race having changed a number of power unit elements.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was the first to lay down a significant marker at the start of the session, with the Spanish driver posting a lap of 1:38.591 on medium compound Pirellis tyres.

Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez then jumped ahead on soft tyres running almost a second quicker than Sainz. Leclerc then made his first impression, stealing top spot with his opening effort of 1:37.471 set on soft tyres.

Verstappen slotted into P2 just six hundredths of a second off the Ferrari drivers. Leclerc went for another run and lowered the benchmark to 1:37.083 but Verstappen was also on another flying lap and when the Dutchman crossed the line he did so in 1:36.706 to reclaim P1.

Sainz, still running medium tyres, took P2 with a good lap just under two tenths off Verstappen but Leclerc completed another run on softs and moved back to second, just 0.059s behind Verstappen. Verstappen reappeared but the Dutch driver was on a long run. That lef the way clear for Pérez to claim top spot on softs with the lap of 1:36.578.

In the final 15 of the session the Red Bull and Ferrari drivers bolted on new softs for qualifying simulations. After a scruffy opening flyer that he eventually abandoned Verstappen moved back to top spot with a lap of 1:36.223. Leclerc couldn’ty match that initially but he too went for a second lap and this time he took P1 with a lap of 1:36.145.

Verstappen, wasn’t finished, however and after a cool-down lap put in another flying lap. He went purple in all three sectors to take P1 in 1:35.835, 0.320s clear of Leclerc and with Sainz 0.446s off the pace.

Pérez who will take a five-place penalty for switching out his engine on Friday, finished fourth ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso sixth. George Russell finished seventh in the second Mercedes ahead of Aston Martin pair Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll, with Pierre Gasly 10th for AlphaTauri.

2022 FIA Formula 1 United States Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:35.825 22 207.115
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:36.145 0.320 18 206.425
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:36.271 0.446 24 206.155
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:36.397 0.572 20 205.886
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:36.401 0.576 17 205.877
6 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:36.928 1.103 14 204.758
7 George Russell Mercedes 1:37.064 1.239 21 204.471
8 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:37.151 1.326 19 204.288
9 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:37.215 1.390 20 204.153
10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:37.290 1.465 18 203.996
11 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:37.310 1.485 23 203.954
12 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:37.449 1.624 19 203.663
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:37.468 1.643 18 203.623
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:37.519 1.694 21 203.517
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:37.622 1.797 16 203.302
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Red Bull 1:37.888 2.063 19 202.750
17 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1:37.904 2.079 18 202.716
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:38.028 2.203 18 202.460
19 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:38.132 2.307 12 202.245
20 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:39.735 3.910 3 198.995


Fuente: www.fia.com

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