FP3: Hamilton dominates final practice as Ferrari seriously struggle for pace

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuveca

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton dominated proceedings in the third and final practice while Ferrari racers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz struggled for pace on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. F1Technical's lead writer Balazs Szabo reports on Free Practice 3.

Following the difficult opening day at the Canadian Grand Prix which saw drivers lose a huge amount of track time due to the rainy weather conditions, the field was intent on gathering data ahead of the qualifying session.

The session was red-flagged with only six minutes after the start as Kick Sauber driver Zhou Guanyu span around between Turn 1 and 2. The Chinese driver slowly span off onto the grass, and was unable to get going again. His stricken Kick Sauber was quickly cleared, and the session was restarted with 50 minutes left on the clock.

There was a variety of run plans across the field with several drivers eager to complete heavy-fuel runs with the two Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes drivers among those who performed a race simulation.

In the end, the qualifying simulations saw Lewis Hamilton set an absolutely eye-catching lap time of 1m12.549s to top the leaderboard in the final practice. His team-mate George Russell ended up third fastest, but he was over four tenths of a second adrift.

Championship runaway leader Max Verstappen took second, but he was slightly struggling for pace on the softs, but a late push lap saw him close in on Hamilton.

Lance Stroll took an impressive fourth place for Aston Martin on home turf, beating the McLaren's Oscar Piastri.

RB driver Daniel Ricciardo took his first F1 victory in Montreal exactly ten years ago, and he appears to be in great form this weekend. The Australian ended up sixth quickest ahead of Lando Norris, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez.

Having displayed impressive speed across the entire season, it was the first practice when Ferrari looked massively off the pace. The Scuderia looked relatively strong down the straights, but Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz appeared to struggle for grip in the medium-speed corners. In the end, the Monegasque and the Spaniard ended up 10th and 12th respectively.

Valtteri Bottas was 13th in his Kick Sauber, with Williams’ Logan Sargeant ending up a spot behind. RB driver Yuki Tsunoda set the 15th quickest lap, beating Pierre Gasly and Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg.

Alexander Albon had a torrid session and finished down in 18th after his visit to the barriers, which forced him to crawl back to the pit lane with apparent suspension damage. Outgoing Alpine driver Esteban Ocon and the sidelined Zhou brought up the rear of the field.


144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:12.54930
21Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:12.923+0.374s31
363George RussellMercedes1:12.957+0.408s32
418Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:13.026+0.477s26
581Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:13.266+0.717s31
63Daniel RicciardoRb Honda Rbpt1:13.279+0.730s33
74Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:13.293+0.744s31
814Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:13.340+0.791s29
911Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:13.342+0.793s28
1016Charles LeclercFerrari1:13.349+0.800s28
1120Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:13.439+0.890s29
1255Carlos SainzFerrari1:13.570+1.021s33
1377Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari1:13.642+1.093s31
142Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:13.663+1.114s30
1522Yuki TsunodaRb Honda Rbpt1:13.716+1.167s30
1610Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:13.737+1.188s28
1727Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:13.777+1.228s26
1823Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:13.880+1.331s22
1931Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:14.075+1.526s30
2024Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari1:18.656+6.107s4