Miami, FP3: Perez sets the pace in final practice
Leclerc 2nd, Verstappen 3rd
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.
|01||Sergio Perez||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:30.304||21|
|02||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari F1-75||1:30.498||23|
|03||Max Verstappen||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:30.649||20|
|04||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A522||1:31.036||18|
|05||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:31.049||24|
|06||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:31.050||19|
|07||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari F1-75||1:31.172||24|
|08||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:31.227||20|
|09||Alex Albon||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:31.501||14|
|10||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:31.594||18|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:31.659||24|
|12||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:31.665||22|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:31.728||19|
|14||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:31.885||26|
|15||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W13||1:31.890||20|
|16||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:31.901||18|
|17||George Russell||Mercedes W13||1:31.924||19|
|18||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:32.051||16|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:32.376||16|
|20||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A522||-:—.---||3|