Abu Dhabi, FP3: Pérez quickest in final practice ahead of Verstappen

Hamilton 3rd, Russell 4th


By Franck Drui

19 November 2022 - 12:43
Abu Dhabi, FP3: Pérez quickest in (...)

Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez set the quickest time in the final practice session for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, beating team-mate Max Verstappen by 1500ths of a second, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in third place.

Pérez, level on points with Charles Leclerc, is looking to claim second place in the Drivers’ Championship and the Mexican driver’s hopes look bright after a practice in which his Ferrari rival finished sixth.

The session, held in hot, sunny conditions not related to those the drivers will encounter is the twilight qualifying session, got off to a slow start with Leclerc setting a conservative early benchmark in the 1m27s before Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate George Russell appeared after 10 minutes. Hamilton took P1 with a lap of 1:26.040.

The rest of the field then began to filter out on track and the Alpine’s of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon split the Mercedes pair, while Leclerc got closest to Hamilton’s time, sitting half a tenth off the seven-time champion.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez went top with a 1:25.861 on mediums and then the session was red-flagged when Pierre Gasly suffered a puncture and debris from his AlphaTauri came to rest on the kerb in Turn 9.

Under the red flag, Hamilton passed both McLaren’s Lando Norris and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, with race control indicating that the matter would be investigated after the session.

When the session resumed, Verstappen emerged on softs and he slotted in third place behind Pérez as Hamilton claimed top spot with a lap of 1:25.824 on soft compound tyres.

Russell then went top with a lap of 1:25.395 but he was soon shuffled back by both Pérez and Hamilton.

And Perez’s lap of 1:24.982 proved enough to hold onto top spot until the end of the session. Verstappen completed another run but the best he could was to leapfrog Hamilton and claim second. Russell finished fourth with Norris in fifth place.

Ferrari duo Leclerc and Carlos Sainz split the McLarens, taking sixth and seventh ahead of Ricciardo. Ninth place went to Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, while Alex Albon finished in 10th place for Williams.

01 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:24.982 15
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:25.134 15
03 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:25.222 20
04 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:25.395 15
05 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:25.518 16
06 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:25.630 24
07 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:25.631 23
08 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:25.950 18
09 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:26.012 13
10 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:26.051 16
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:26.073 17
12 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:26.076 18
13 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:26.170 19
14 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:26.189 17
15 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:26.239 12
16 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:26.298 20
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:26.356 21
18 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:26.473 19
19 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:26.482 17
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:26.646 14

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