Jeddah, FP3: Leclerc quickest in final practice at Jeddah Corniche Circuit

Ahead of Red Bulls

By Franck Drui

26 March 2022 - 16:12
Jeddah, FP3: Leclerc quickest in (...)

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.

01 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:29.735 23
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:29.768 12
02 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:29.833 16
04 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:30.009 22
05 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:30.030 22
06 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:30.139 16
07 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:30.148 11
08 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:30.262 18
09 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:30.296 17
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:30.415 19
11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:30.707 17
12 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:30.765 17
13 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:30.946 20
14 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:30.983 15
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:31.067 18
16 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:31.186 16
17 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:31.374 16
18 Nico Hülkenberg Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:31.424 18
19 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:31.529 17
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:31.992 13


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