FP3: Verstappen pips Leclerc in rain-soaked final practice

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuveca

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen set the pace in the third and final practice, beating Charles Leclerc by just under three tenths of a second. F1Technical's Balázs Szabó reports on Free Practice 3 at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Just as predicted, the third and final practice took place in very challenging, wet conditions with the rain intensity picking up in the dying minutes of the session.

While the majority of the field started the session on Pirelli’s brand-new wet weather tyres that do not need pre-heating, conditions improved as cars started to dry out the asphalt of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, prompting drivers to swap from full wet tyres to intermediates.

The session saw the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen dictate the pace with the Dutchman setting the quickest lap in the end. Verstappen ended up 0.291s faster than the Monegasque, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso the next quickest driver, some 1.3s off the pace in third.

Kevin Magnussen put his Haas fourth with Sainz taking fifth in the end. Despite his encouraging pace, the Spaniard’s session ended prematurely as he spun off into the barriers at Turn 1. The incident caused the only red flag of FP3 and gave the Ferrari mechanics a huge work load as the SF-23 sustained heavy damage to both the front and rear-end.

After suffering an engine issue in the opening practice, Pierre Gasly appeared to be in promising form, taking 6th in the session with his team mate Esteban Ocon finishing down in P19.

Despite spinning on multiple occasions in the first half of the 60-minute session, Yuki Tsunoda put his AlphaTauri eighth while his teammate Nyck de Vries set the 16th quickest lap.

Red Bull’s Mexican driver Sergio Perez was among the frontrunners before the red flag, but he found himself down in a lowly 17th as he could not improve his best time when the track was in the best condition.

After finishing first and second in FP2 on Friday, Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team mate George Russell took 10th and 15th, respectively, with both drivers struggling to get temperatures into their tyres.


11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:23.10622
216Charles LeclercFerrari1:23.397+0.291s22
314Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:24.483+1.377s18
420Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:24.715+1.609s23
555Carlos SainzFerrari1:24.765+1.659s14
610Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:24.825+1.719s19
718Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:24.944+1.838s22
822Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:24.955+1.849s24
977Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:24.988+1.882s22
1044Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:25.087+1.981s20
1127Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:25.140+2.034s20
1281Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:25.191+2.085s25
134Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:25.198+2.092s21
1423Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:25.379+2.273s21
1563George RussellMercedes1:25.435+2.329s20
1621Nyck De VriesAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:25.725+2.619s24
1711Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:25.857+2.751s20
1824Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:26.750+3.644s23
1931Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:26.840+3.734s10
202Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:27.279+4.173s16