F1 – Leclerc Quickest In Final Practice At Jeddah Corniche Circuit Ahead Of Red Bulls

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc beat the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez to take top spot in the final practice session for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. The Monegasque driver set a best time of 1:29.735 nudge defending world champion Verstappen out of P1 by just 0.033s.

The final one-hour practice session got off to a quiet start but the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz livened things up as they duelled for superiority on soft tyres. Leclerc initially held sway with a lap or 1:31.052 but Sainz darted ahead to the tune of four hundredths of a second. Leclerc then found more time and posted a lap of 1:30.139.

Red Bull kept its powder dry almost until shortly before the hallway mark and Pérez moved to second, splitting the Ferraris and lying 0.152s off. Verstappen, meanwhile, put in a conservative first flier that took him to fourth. However, having found a comfort zone, the world champion then lit up the timing screens posting a lap of 1:29.768s to go four tenths quicker than Leclerc. Pierre Gasly then move to third in his AlphaTauri. The French driver’s session was ended early, however, when he stopped at the pity exit with a suspected driveshaft issue soon after the half hour mark.

Later in the session Verstappen might have improved again but a small mistake saw him run over the insider kern in Turn 17 and the lap was gone. It left the field open to Leclerc who then posted his session-best time in the final minutes.

Sainz, meanwhile, took fourth place, 0.274 behind Leclerc and 0.176 behind Pérez who ended the session just 0.065s behind team-mate Verstappen.

Bottas finished the session in fifth place ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Gasly. Kevin Magnussen continued Haas’ good early-season form with eighth place ahead of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and the second AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda.

2022 FIA Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 Ferrari 23 1:29.735
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull RB18 Red Bull 12 1:29.768 0.033
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull RB18 Red Bull 16 1:29.833 0.098
4 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 Ferrari 22 1:30.009 0.274
5 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo C42 Alfa Romeo 22 1:30.030 0.295
6 Esteban Ocon Alpine A522 Alpine 16 1:30.139 0.404
7 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri AT03 AlphaTauri 11 1:30.148 0.413
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas VF-22 Haas 18 1:30.262 0.527
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine A522 Alpine 17 1:30.296 0.561
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri AT03 AlphaTauri 19 1:30.415 0.680
11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 Mercedes 17 1:30.707 0.972
12 Mick Schumacher Haas VF-22 Haas 17 1:30.765 1.030
13 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo C42 Alfa Romeo 20 1:30.946 1.211
14 George Russell Mercedes W13 Mercedes 15 1:30.983 1.248
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin AMR22 Aston Martin 18 1:31.067 1.332
16 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren MCL36 McLaren 16 1:31.186 1.451
17 Alex Albon Williams FW44 Williams 16 1:31.374 1.639
18 Nico Hulkenberg Aston Martin AMR22 Aston Martin 18 1:31.424 1.689
19 Lando Norris McLaren MCL36 McLaren 17 1:31.529 1.794
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams FW44 Williams 13 1:31.992 2.257

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