Dutch GP, FP3: Leclerc quickest in final practice for Dutch GP
Ahead of Russell, Verstappen
Charles Leclerc set the pace in the final practice session ahead of qualifying for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix with the Ferrari driver lapping just under seven hundredths of a second quicker than Mercedes’ George Russell. World Championship leader Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull Racing.
The final 60 minutes of practice got off to a slow start, with only Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly out on track in the first minutes.
Pérez, looking to find a way forward for Red Bull after a difficult Friday during which both its drivers struggled with balance, took to the circuit on soft compound Pirelli tyres and on his first run he set a time with a 1:13.792. in his Red Bull on soft tyres. He then lowered the benchmark to 1:13.603 but was quickly on the radio to report that was still not happy with the rear of his car.
Verstappen headed out on track after 10 minutes, also on softs, and the runaway title championship immediately went 1.2s faster than his team-mate with a lap of 1:12.309. However, the Dutchman also complained of a lack of grip on his opening run.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz slotted into second for Ferrari, a second slower than Verstappen, with a lap of 1:13.309 and as such the Spanish driver was quickly deposed by Russell who stopped the clock at 1:12.934 on softs, while Leclerc took fourth place on 1:13.384.
Sainz improved to 1:12.917 to retake P2 but Verstappen stretched ahead and his lap of 1:12.196s left him 0.7s ahead of Sainz, who was then shuffled back by Leclerc who posted a time of 1:12.720 to take second and by Hamilton who moved to third place with a lap of 1:12.823. Hamilton went for another run but was unhappy on the radio after encountering the slow-running AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda on the apex of Turn 7.
After a lull in proceedings, Sainz was back on track with 20 minutes left and the Ferrari driver moved back to the top of the timesheet with a 1:11.971, 0.2s clear of Verstappen. Leclerc sat in third, while Alex Albon moved up to fourth for Williams, ahead of the two Mercedes. The Williams man was then deposed by Lance Stroll who took fourth for Aston Martin, before team-mate Sebastian Vettel went up to third ahead of Leclerc.
The Monegasque driver was on a quali lap, however, and he set purple times in all three sectors of the circuit to post a P1 time of 1:11.632. Russell then went second in his Mercedes, just 0.066s adrift of Leclerc but ahead of Sainz.
With 10 minutes left in the session, Verstappen emerged for another flying lap and he improved to third on 1:11.793, just under two tenths of a second off Leclerc and ahead of Sainz, while Pérez moved up to sixth behind Hamilton.
|01||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari F1-75||1:11.632||20|
|02||George Russell||Mercedes W13||1:11.698||24|
|03||Max Verstappen||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:11.793||22|
|04||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari F1-75||1:11.971||17|
|05||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W13||1:12.156||25|
|06||Sergio Perez||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:12.176||29|
|07||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A522||1:12.327||16|
|08||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:12.491||25|
|09||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:12.558||15|
|10||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:12.591||18|
|11||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:12.606||15|
|12||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:12.773||18|
|13||Alex Albon||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:12.775||18|
|14||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A522||1:13.003||20|
|15||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:13.046||23|
|16||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:13.256||22|
|17||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:13.299||20|
|18||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:13.359||15|
|19||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:13.421||14|
|20||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:13.625||22|