FP3: Verstappen tops final practice, but Hamilton dominated on hard compound

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Saudi Arabia, Jeddah Street Circuitsa

Max Verstappen bounced back in the third and final practice for the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, beating defending champion Lewis Hamilton and his team mate Sergio Perez. However, the Briton is estimated to have the edge on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit based on his lap time on the hard compound.

Hamilton topped both sessions on the opening day in Jeddah despite using an older internal combustion engine. For the final practice, the Briton received his ’super’ engine that he used at the Brazil Grand Prix, and set the early pace on hard tyres but couldn't improve on his fastest effort of 1m28.314s when it came to using softs.

By contrast, Verstappen used two sets of soft compound in the final practice, as he has already used a set of medium and hard compound on Friday. The championship leader was working diligently on trying to switch on the soft compound for the first timed lap as this has been a difficulty for the majority of the field since the opening day.

The Dutchman enjoyed his soft-tyred running and eclipsed Hamilton midway through the session, improving to set the ultimate benchmark of 1m28.100s and leave his championship rival two-tenths behind in P2.

Behind the pair was Sergio Perez, who looked in peace with his car following his difficulties on Friday. The AlphaTauri pair of Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly finished fourth and fifth fastest, edging Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas.

Ferrari appeared to be in great shape regarding its long run pace, but lacked when it came to one-lap performance. The Scuderia seemed to be in better form today after working on switching on the tyres for the hot laps. Charles Leclerc, who sustained a huge crash in Free Practice 2, ended up P7, pipping his team mate Carlos Sainz.

Williams kept pace with the Aston Martins, George Russell taking 16th and his team mate Nicholas Latifi 18th. The Haas pair of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin rounded off the timing sheets, six tenths adrift of Latifi.


133Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda1:28.10020
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:28.314+0.214s23
311Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda1:28.629+0.529s21
422Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda1:28.641+0.541s20
510Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Honda1:28.715+0.615s22
677Valtteri BottasMercedes1:29.019+0.919s19
716Charles LeclercFerrari1:29.101+1.001s22
855Carlos SainzFerrari1:29.149+1.049s19
931Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:29.177+1.077s19
104Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:29.300+1.200s18
1114Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:29.418+1.318s21
1299Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:29.590+1.490s20
137Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:29.689+1.589s24
143Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:29.717+1.617s19
1518Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes1:30.030+1.930s14
1663George RussellWilliams Mercedes1:30.034+1.934s17
175Sebastian VettelAston Martin Mercedes1:30.296+2.196s15
186Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:30.366+2.266s17
1947Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:30.933+2.833s20
209Nikita MazepinHaas Ferrari1:30.979+2.879s23