Spain, FP3: Leclerc quickest in final practice for Spanish Grand Prix

Ahead of Verstappen, Russell

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By Olivier Ferret

21 May 2022 - 14:11
Spain, FP3: Leclerc quickest in (...)

Charles Leclerc posted the fastest lap of FP3 for the FIA Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix to make it a clean sweep of practice session top sports, though the championship leader finished just seven hundredths of a second ahead of defending champion Max Verstappen with George Russell third in an improved Mercedes.

Leclerc and team-mate Carlos Sainz, who was in a changed chassis owing to fuel system problem, began the final practice where they left off at the end of FP2, with Sainz and then Leclerc claiming top sport when they took to the track after 15 minutes.

Leclerc jumped to the top of the order with a lap of 1:20.278. Verstappen didn’t emerge until close to the halfway mark and he slotted into P2. Leclerc went for a second run on softs and he set a new benchmark of 1:19.772 that remained until the end of the session.

Sainz also improved on a second run with a lap of 1:20.129s, but that was only good enough for fifth place as Mercedes’ upgraded W13 continued to impress.

George Russell finished third in the uprated car, posting a lap of 1:19.920 that left him just 0.148 behind Leclerc. Lewis Hamilton meanwhile took fourth place with a lap of 1:20.002 that put him a tenth ahead of Sainz who in turn two tenths ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Pérez.

Lando Norris finished seventh for McLaren, with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo 11th, while Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) produced encouraging displays for their respective teams by securing top-10 spots along with Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.

There was trouble in the session, though, for Mick Schumacher and Pierre Gasly.

AlphaTauri driver Gasly was forces to return to his team’s garage at the end of his installation lap, smoke emanating from the rear of his AT03. Haas driver Schumacher had a fire on hi rear-right brake assembly.

Pos.DriverCarTimeLaps
01 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:19.772 23
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:19.844 12
03 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:19.920 16
04 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:20.002 18
05 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:20.129 23
06 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:20.260 19
07 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:20.403 18
08 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:20.646 21
09 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:20.781 24
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:20.882 18
11 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:20.910 17
12 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:20.944 24
13 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:20.981 17
14 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:21.201 19
15 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:21.449 22
16 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:21.520 23
17 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:21.572 18
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:22.419 18
19 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:25.467 4
20 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 -:—.--- 1

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