FP3: Verstappen tops final practice, Bearman impresses at Ferrari

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Three-time world champion Max Verstappen set the benchmark in the third and final practice at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, beating Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. Having stepped in to replace the unwell Carlos Sainz, Oliver Bearman made a hugely impressive start to his first grand prix weekend by setting the tenth quickest lap.

Having struggled for one-lap pace, Max Verstappen bounced back in the final practice, setting a lap time of 1m28.412s to head Ferrari racer Charles Leclerc by two tenths of a second in the last one-hour practice.

Having been drafted in to replace the unwell Carlos Sainz, Oliver Bearman made his debut with Ferrari in third practice. The 18-year-old claimed pole position for the Formula 2 championship feature race in Jeddah on Thursday and will take part in the rest of the weekend while Sainz undergoes surgery for appendicitis. The British driver made an impressive debut, taking tenth on the leaderboard.

Having won the Jeddah F1 race last year, Sergio Perez continues to impress as he took third in final practice.

There was nothing to chose between the Mercedes, McLaren and Aston Martin drivers with George Russell setting the fourth quickest lap, ahead of Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll, Oscar Piastri. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton took a lowly ninth spot, having struggled with the balance of his W15.

Confirming their improved pace from Thursday, the Alpine outfit looked more competitive than in Bahrain, with Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon 12th and 14th respectively.

RB drivers finished in the midfield with Yuki Tsunoda outpacing his team mate Daniel Ricciardo by just over a tenth of a second.

Kick Sauber had a very difficult session with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu taking 18th and 19th. The more serious issue was that the Chinese driver lost control of his Sauber at Turn 7, causing a stoppage for around 10 minutes.


11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:28.41213
216Charles LeclercFerrari1:28.608+0.196s16
311Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:28.906+0.494s13
463George RussellMercedes1:28.964+0.552s17
54Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:28.971+0.559s11
614Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:29.038+0.626s14
718Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:29.127+0.715s14
881Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:29.213+0.801s11
944Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:29.268+0.856s19
1038Oliver BearmanFerrari1:29.306+0.894s22
1120Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:29.485+1.073s12
1210Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:29.546+1.134s13
1322Yuki TsunodaRb Honda Rbpt1:29.572+1.160s18
1431Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:29.575+1.163s13
1527Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:29.675+1.263s11
163Daniel RicciardoRb Honda Rbpt1:29.740+1.328s15
1723Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:29.808+1.396s13
1877Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari1:30.083+1.671s21
1924Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari1:30.739+2.327s12
202Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes2