Verstappen leads Leclerc and Sainz in final Austin practice session

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen topped the timesheets during final practice for the United States Grand Prix, finishing comfortably clear of Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz thanks to a late flying lap.

At a hot but windy Circuit of The Americas, Verstappen bounced back from a mistake at the start of his qualifying-style run on the soft compound tyre to pump in a 1m 35.825s – some three-tenths quicker than Leclerc managed.
Sainz was a tenth further back in third, with Sergio Perez half a second off the pace in the other Red Bull, as he also prepares to drop five places on the grid due to an engine change.

Practice 3 results
1 VER 1:35.825
2 LEC +0.320s
3 SAI +0.446s
4 PER +0.572s
5 HAM +0.576s

Lap times aside, FP3 served as a much-needed routine outing after several drivers missed opening practice to give rookies some F1 track time and Friday’s second session focused on prototype 2023 tyre testing for Pirelli.

Behind the top four, Lewis Hamilton was the ‘best of the rest’ for Mercedes, just 0.004s down on Perez, while Fernando Alonso split the Silver Arrows by putting his Alpine in front of George Russell.
Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) complained of brake issues midway through the session but appeared to get over them en route to P15, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) and Williams pair Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi.

Technical issues for Haas driver Mick Schumacher (ERS water pump) and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu (yet to be determined) saw the pair bring up the rear of the 20-strong field.

Saturday’s all-important qualifying session begins at 1700 local time. Head to the RACE HUB to see how and when you can catch the action from Austin.

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