Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez went quickest in the final practice session for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix, beating Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by almost two tenths of a second as Alpine’s Esteban Ocon crashed out.
Verstappen was one of the first on track, seeking to make up lost track time after missing significant portions of both Friday practice sessions. He quickly claimed P1 with a lap of 1:34.037s, but after five minutes Leclerc powered past that with a soft tyre lap of 1:32.250.
Verstappen was quickly back on top with a lap of 1:31.55 after 10 minutes.
There was little time for Leclerc to respond, however, as Ocon crashed heavily to bring out the red flags. The French driver lost control on the slippery track off line in Turn 13 and he slid hard into the barriers on the outside of the corner causing substantial damaged to the left-front of his Alpine.
After a 13-minute delay running resumed and Leclerc continued with soft tyre running as Verstappen evaluated the yellow-banded medium Pirelli compound.
Leclerc eventually managed to steal top spot with a little less than 20 minutes left in the session. The championship points leader set a lap of 1:30.981 to put 0.3s between him and Verstappen.
Like his team-mate, Pérez had spent most of the session on longer runs and as the session headed towards its final 10 minutes he was well down the order. However, he then bolted on soft tyres and jumped ahead of Leclerc with a lap of 1:30.699.
Verstappen then took over at the top of the order with a lap of 1:30.649. Pérez wasn’t done, though, and he responded with purple first and third sectors to again claim P1 with a lap of 1:30.304.
There were still five minutes on the clock and Verstappen and Leclerc went for a final run. Verstappen’s attempt ended with a spin in the chicane and in which the Dutchman was lucky not to hit the wall. Leclerc, meanwhile, looked on course to challenge Pérez early in the lap but he took too much out of his rubber and he was forced to settle for P2 at the end of the session.
Fernando Alonso finished fourth for Alpine ahead of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Haas’ Mick Schumacher. Kevin Magnussen finished eighth in the second Haas ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon and McLaren’s Lando Norris.
2022 FIA Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Racing 21 1:30.304
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 23 1:30.498 0.194
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 20 1:30.649 0.345
4 Fernando Alonso Alpine 18 1:31.036 0.732
5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 24 1:31.049 0.745
6 Mick Schumacher Haas 19 1:31.050 0.746
7 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 24 1:31.172 0.868
8 Kevin Magnussen 20 1:31.227 0.923
9 Alex Albon Williams 14 1:31.501 1.197
10 Lando Norris McLaren 18 1:31.594 1.290
11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 24 1:31.659 1.355
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 22 1:31.665 1.361
13 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 19 1:31.728 1.424
14 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 26 1:31.885 1.581
15 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 20 1:31.890 1.586
16 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 18 1:31.901 1.597
17 George Russell Mercedes 19 1:31.924 1.620
18 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 16 1:32.051 1.747
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams 16 1:32.376 2.072
20 Esteban Ocon Alpine 3