FP3: Perez heads a dominant Red Bull one-two

By on
F1 Grand Prix, GP Belgium, Circuit de Spa-Francorchampsbe

Sergio Perez topped the final practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, edging his teammate Max Verstappen while Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc brushed the barriers late on. F1Technical's Balázs Szabó reports on Free Practice 3 for the Belgian Grand Prix.

After struggling for pace during Friday practice, Sergio Perez appeared to be back on form in the final practice session at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The Mexican clocked a 1m45.047s in the dying minutes of the session, eclipsing his team mate Max Verstappen’s time by just over a tenth of a second.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz ended up third fastest, but he was over seven tenths of a second adrift of Perez’s benchmark as Ferrari was unable to keep up with Red Bull with the pecking order showing a similar picture to yesterday’s practice sessions.

His team mate Leclerc took only 7th after losing control of his Ferrari at the high-speed Fagnes corner. The Monegasque managed to keep it out of the barriers, only brushing them and was able to return to the track for practice starts.

McLaren’s Lando Norris continued to impress at Spa by finishing fourth fastest while his team mate Daniel Ricciardo ended up down in P11, six tenths of a second adrift of his British-Belgian team mate.

After conducting high-fuel runs at the beginning of the session, Fernando Alonso impressed with a late qualifying simulation, ending the practice fifth fastest with his team mate Esteban Ocon taking 9th.

Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were struggling for pace yesterday, but both of them managed to improve their car for today’s final practice. The team’s newcomer ended the session in P6 with his team mate finishing 12th fastest. However, Hamilton was actually on a much better lap on which he made a mistake in Sector 2 which indicated that Mercedes has much more to offer when things get serious later on in the qualifying session.

AlphaTauri made a jump on the order compared to yesterday with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda taking 10th and 18th fastest.

Williams continued to impress with its straight-line performance with both Nicholas Latifi and Alexander Albon setting eye-catching times in the first and final sector of the 7.004km Spa-Francorchamps track. The Canadian and the London-born Thai driver ended up 13th and 14th fastest respectively.

The Ferrari-powered cars of Alfa Romeo and Haas struggled for pace in Free Practice 3 with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu setting the 15th and 19th fastest lap times for the Italian-Swiss outfit while Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher secured P17 and P20 respectively for the American squad.

111Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:45.04719
21Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:45.184+0.137s19
355Carlos SainzFerrari1:45.824+0.777s13
44Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:45.965+0.918s20
514Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:46.061+1.014s16
663George RussellMercedes1:46.071+1.024s19
716Charles LeclercFerrari1:46.120+1.073s12
85Sebastian VettelAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:46.166+1.119s18
931Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:46.601+1.554s24
1010Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Rbpt1:46.604+1.557s19
113Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:46.646+1.599s18
1244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:46.769+1.722s20
136Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:46.811+1.764s20
1423Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:46.836+1.789s20
1577Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:46.881+1.834s20
1618Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:46.975+1.928s16
1720Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:46.982+1.935s14
1822Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Rbpt1:47.035+1.988s23
1924Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:47.089+2.042s20
2047Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:52.494+7.447s6