2022 US GP FP3: Verstappen goes fastest in final practice in COTA


US GP FP3 Verstappen goes fastest in final practice in COTA 2022

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 efforts on the soft compound tyre to pump in a 1m 35.825s – some three-tenths quicker than Leclerc managed.

Leclerc was left to rue a “very, very messy lap” on the red-marked rubber, with the Monegasque also bracing himself for a 10-place grid penalty after taking on a new engine and turbocharger ahead of qualifying.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen

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.


1 1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING RBPT 1:35.825 21
2 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 1:36.145 +0.320s 17
3 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 1:36.271 +0.446s 24
4 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING RBPT 1:36.397 +0.572s 19
5 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:36.401 +0.576s 16
6 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 1:36.928 +1.103s 13
7 63 George Russell MERCEDES 1:37.064 +1.239s 20
8 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:37.151 +1.326s 18
9 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:37.215 +1.390s 19
10 10 Pierre Gasly ALPHATAURI RBPT 1:37.290 +1.465s 17
11 77 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:37.310 +1.485s 22
12 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:37.449 +1.624s 18
13 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 1:37.468 +1.643s 17
14 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:37.519 +1.694s 20
15 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:37.622 +1.797s 15
16 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI RBPT 1:37.888 +2.063s 18
17 23 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:37.904 +2.079s 17
18 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:38.028 +2.203s 17
19 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 1:38.132 +2.307s 11
20 24 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:39.735 +3.910s 3


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.

Aston Martin enjoyed another encouraging session, as Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll took P8 and P9 respectively (the only negative being a pit lane speeding fine for the latter), with Pierre Gasly rounding out the top 10 positions in his AlphaTauri.

Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris led the charge for their respective Alfa Romeo and McLaren teams, followed by the other Alpine of Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas.

Daniel Ricciardo 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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