FP3: Verstappen ends final practice on top as Albon impresses with P2

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Mexico, Autódromo Hermanos Rodriguezmx

Having topped both practice sessions on Friday, Max Verstappen was quickest once again in the third and final one-hour session, edging out Williams driver Alexander Albon and his team-mate Sergio Perez. F1Technical's senior writer Balázs Szabó reports on Free Practice 3.

Drivers were in no rush to head out on to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez when the lights switched to green. In fact, it was no surprise to see drivers wait in their garages as most of the field used two sets of soft tyres in the final practice which showed quite a high degree of degradation yesterday.

In the end, it was Max Verstappen to top the Saturday practice with a time of 1m17.887s which was eight tenths of a second quicker than what he managed on Friday. His team-mate Sergio Perez continued his fine form, ending the session in P3 only over a tenth of a second behind the Dutchman.

The big surprise was Alexander Albon, who put in an eye-catching lap on Pirelli's soft tyres that saw him take second in the final standings. His team-mate Logan Sargeant was 11th, seven tenths of a second adrift of the Thai driver.

After clocking in a sensational lap time early on, George Russell did not find the improvement on his second set of softs, and finished fourth fastest. His team-mate Lewis Hamilton took only tenth.

Alfa Romeo continued their fine form in the final practice as Valtteri Bottas took an impressive sixth behind the McLaren of Oscar Piastri. His team-mate Zhou Guanyu ended up 12th fastest.

AlphaTauri also had an encouraging session as Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo finished P7 and P9 with McLaren driver Lando Norris slotting in between the Japanese and Australian driver.

Ferrari had an encouraging first run on the softs, followed by an impressive heavy fuel run on the same set of tyres. However, the Scuderia drivers were left frustrated to see their late soft tyre runs ruined by traffic, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz taking only 13th and 15th.

Leclerc’s soft tyre lap was hampered by an unsighted Kevin Magnussen, while Sainz spun at Turn 11 after coming across the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll.

Fernando Alonso, who has looked unusually off the pace all weekend, ended the 60-minute session down in P17 while his team-mate Stroll finished three places higher up the order thanks to a late push lap on Pirelli's red-walled tyres.


11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:17.88718
223Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:17.957+0.070s18
311Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:18.026+0.139s18
463George RussellMercedes1:18.248+0.361s19
581Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:18.392+0.505s21
677Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:18.437+0.550s25
722Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:18.450+0.563s25
84Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:18.480+0.593s20
93Daniel RicciardoAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:18.499+0.612s14
1044Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:18.522+0.635s20
112Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:18.718+0.831s14
1224Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:18.917+1.030s20
1316Charles LeclercFerrari1:18.970+1.083s21
1418Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:19.094+1.207s20
1555Carlos SainzFerrari1:19.293+1.406s22
1627Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:19.320+1.433s18
1714Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:19.471+1.584s20
1810Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:19.509+1.622s18
1920Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:19.573+1.686s8
2031Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:19.839+1.952s18