F1 – Piastri Quickest In Final Practice Disrupted By Crashes For Alonso And Pérez

F1 – Piastri Quickest In Final Practice Disrupted By Crashes For Alonso And Pérez

Oscar Piastri topped the timesheet ahead of McLaren team-mate Lando Norris at the end of a final hour of practice for the 2024 FIA Formula 1 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix that was disrupted by crashes for both Fernando Alonso and Sergio Pérez.

Pérez led the way in the opening five minutes of the session with the Red Bull driver posting a time on 1:17.682 on Medium tyres to top the timesheet ahead of team-mate Max Verstappen, also on Mediums, and Friday’s fastest man Charles Leclerc who had So tyres on his Ferrari.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, also on Soft tyres, then moved ahead of Pérez thanks to a lap time of 1:17.44 he was swiftly deposed by Leclerc who went over a second clear of the field with a lap of 1:16.281. to push him a whole second clear.

Verstappen then showed his hand for the first time, moving up to second with a 1:16.471 on Mediums. However the championship leader then had a nervous moment on the exit of Rivazza as dipped his right-rear wheel towards the gravel but he managed to get away with. Despite the error the Dutch driver improved to 1:16.366 but stayed second as Leclerc also improved to 1:16.087.

With 20 minutes on the clock Carlos Sainz took over at the top with a 1:16.067 on Soft tyres beating his team-mate’s time by just 0.02s as Norris used Medium tyres to move up to fourth 0.343s off Sainz.

Moments later, however, the session was stopped when Alonso lost the rear of his car going into the second part of Rivazza and slid through the short run-off and into the barriers. Alonso was unhurt, but with his car badly damaged and requiring recovery, the red flags were shown.

The session resumed after a brief five-minute delay and Piastri, on Softs, moved up to third, 0.190s off Sainz’s P1 time. The Australian then improved further to 1:15.529 just as the rest of the pack was preparing for late fliers.

Those plans were thrown into disarray, however, when Pérez hit the kerbs too hard at the Variante Alta and then lost control when his RB20 clattered onto the track. He tried to correct the wobble bit he slid off through the gravel and into the barriers.

Perez’s crash led to a last-gasp scramble for drivers to set qualifying simulation times, but only Lando Norris was able to get a good lap in and he finished second, 0.3s behind than his team-mate.

A host of drivers failed to set a time in this late rush, including Verstappen, who finished sixth on his earlier time set on Mediums. Behind Norris, Sainz took third ahead of Leclerc with Mercedes’ George Russell in fifth ahead of Verstappen.

2024 FIA Formula 1 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 1:15.529 15 233.981
2 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:15.829 0.300 15 233.055
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:16.067 0.538 22 232.326
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:16.087 0.558 20 232.265
5 George Russell Mercedes 1:16.095 0.566 16 232.241
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1:16.366 0.837 21 231.417
7 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1:16.470 0.941 14 231.102
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:16.481 0.952 19 231.069
9 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:16.543 1.014 24 230.881
10 Nico Hülkenberg Haas/Ferrari 1:16.547 1.018 15 230.869
11 Daniel Ricciardo RB/Honda RBPT 1:16.560 1.031 15 230.830
12 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1:16.631 1.102 18 230.616
13 Yuki Tsunoda RB/Honda RBPT 1:16.668 1.139 14 230.505
14 Valtteri Bottas Sauber/Ferrari 1:16.695 1.166 15 230.424
15 Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes 1:16.794 1.265 16 230.127
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:16.923 1.394 12 229.741
17 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:16.960 1.431 16 229.630
18 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:17.339 1.810 10 228.505
19 Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 1:17.361 1.832 17 228.440
20 Zhou Guanyu Sauber/Ferrari 1:17.891 2.362 15 226.886

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