FP3: Perez heads a dominant Red Bull one-two

By Balazs Szabo on

Sergio Perez topped the final practice for the Belgian Grand Prix, edging his teammate Max Verstappen while Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc brushed the barriers late on. F1Technical’s Balázs Szabó reports on Free Practice 3 for the Belgian Grand Prix.

After struggling for pace during Friday practice, Sergio Perez appeared to be back on in the final practice session at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The Mexican clocked a 1m45.047s in the dying minutes of the session, eclipsing his team mate Max Verstappen’s time by just over a tenth of a second.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz ended up third fastest, but he was over seven tenths of a second adrift of Perez’s benchmark as Ferrari was unable to keep up with Red Bull with the pecking order showing a similar picture to yesterday’s practice sessions.

His team mate Leclerc took only 7th after losing control of his Ferrari at the high-speed Fagnes corner. The Monegasque managed to keep it out of the barriers, only brushing them and was able to return to the track for practice starts.

McLaren’s Lando Norris continued to impress at Spa by finishing fourth fastest while his team mate Daniel Ricciardo ended up down in P11, six tenths of a second adrift of his British-Belgian team mate.

After conducting high-fuel runs at the beginning of the session, Fernando Alonso impressed with a late qualifying simulation, ending the practice fifth fastest with his team mate Esteban Ocon taking 9th.

Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton were struggling for pace yesterday, but both of them managed to improve their car for today’s final practice. The team’s newcomer ended the session in P6 with his team mate finishing 12th fastest. However, Hamilton was on a much better lap on which me made a mistake which indicated that Mercedes has much more to offer when things get serious later on in the qualifying session.

AlphaTauri made a jump on the order compared to yesterday with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda taking 10th and 18th fastest. Williams continued to impress with ita straight-line performance with both Nicholas Latifi and Alexander Albon setting eye-catching times in the first and final sector of the 7.004km Spa-Francorchamps track. The Canadian and the London-born Thai driver ended up 13th and 14th fastest respectively.

The Ferrari –powered cars of Alfa Romeo and Haas struggled for pace in Free Practice 3 with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu setting the 15th and 19th fastest lap times for the Italian-Swiss outfit while Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher securing P17 and P20 respectively for the American squad.


No. Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing Rbpt 1:45.047 19
2 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Rbpt 1:45.184 +0.137s 19
3 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:45.824 +0.777s 13
4 4 Lando Norris Mclaren Mercedes 1:45.965 +0.918s 20
5 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault 1:46.061 +1.014s 16
6 63 George Russell Mercedes 1:46.071 +1.024s 19
7 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:46.120 +1.073s 12
8 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 1:46.166 +1.119s 18
9 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 1:46.601 +1.554s 24
10 10 Pierre Gasly Alphatauri Rbpt 1:46.604 +1.557s 19
11 3 Daniel Ricciardo Mclaren Mercedes 1:46.646 +1.599s 18
12 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:46.769 +1.722s 20
13 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 1:46.811 +1.764s 20
14 23 Alexander Albon Williams Mercedes 1:46.836 +1.789s 20
15 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:46.881 +1.834s 20
16 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 1:46.975 +1.928s 16
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:46.982 +1.935s 14
18 22 Yuki Tsunoda Alphatauri Rbpt 1:47.035 +1.988s 23
19 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:47.089 +2.042s 20
20 47 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari 1:52.494 +7.447s 6

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