Pérez leads Verstappen and Sainz in final practice at the Belgian Grand Prix

Sergio Pérez topped the final free practice session of the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium.

Max Verstappen was on top of the time charts for most of the session and was pipped by his Mexican team-mate for the top spot in the dying minutes of the session. Carlos Sainz finished in third position at the end of the session.

Pérez’s performance is significant as Verstappen and Charles Leclerc, the main contenders for pole position, will start the race at the back of the grid due to engine penalties.

The third free practice session at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit started in cool and overcast conditions with air temperature at 15 degrees C and track temperature at 20 degrees C.

The Pirelli tyre choice at this race is the white-striped hard compound tyres (C2), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C3), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C4), the middle range of compounds in the Pirelli tyre range.

Lewis Hamilton led the drivers on to the track as the final practice session started with a flurry of activity with a 40% chance of rain during the session.

The Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN drivers led by Zhou Guanyu with a lap time of 1m47.795s were initially on top of the time charts.

Sainz with a lap time of 1m46.461s went to the top of the time charts. Leclerc slotted into second position, 0.429 seconds slower than his team-mate.

Leclerc seems to have a different setup and more downforce on his car and will start the race from the back of the grid.

Verstappen then went fastest with a lap time of 1m45.480s with Pérez in second position. The RB18 car has looked planted and has the right mixture of downforce and straight-line speed this weekend.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers were struggling to put heat into the tyres and were losing a lot of time in Sector 2.

With fifteen minutes to go the team made a lot of changes to the car setup as they struggled to put good lap times on the board.

George Russell improved to fifth fastest on the time charts. Nicholas Latifi went fastest in the first sector and slotted into ninth position on the time charts.

With nine minutes to go, Leclerc went off at Turn 12 and skidded across the gravel and touched the barriers. Leclerc limped back to the pits but the session was red-flagged to repair the barriers.

The session resumed with less than four minutes to go and Verstappen went even faster. But Pérez with a lap time of 1:45.047s went 0.137 seconds faster than Verstappen.

In the dying minutes of the session, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel  went fifth and eighth fastest. There was light rain at the end of the session.

The overcast conditions with a chance of rain will make the qualification session unpredictable and interesting.

2022 Belgian Grand Prix Free Practice Three Results:
Pos No Driver Nat. Team Time Gap Laps
1 11 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Red Bull Racing 1:45.047 19
2 1 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing 1:45.184 +0.137s 19
3 55 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari 1:45.824 +0.777s 13
4 4 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 1:45.965 +0.918s 20
5 14 Fernando Alonso ESP BWT Alpine F1 Team 1:46.061 +1.014s 16
6 63 George Russell GBR Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1:46.071 +1.024s 19
7 16 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 1:46.120 +1.073s 12
8 5 Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team 1:46.166 +1.119s 18
9 31 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1:46.601 +1.554s 24
10 10 Pierre Gasly FRA Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:46.604 +1.557s 19
11 3 Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren F1 Team 1:46.646 +1.599s 18
12 44 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1:46.769 +1.722s 20
13 6 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Racing 1:46.811 +1.764s 20
14 23 Alexander Albon THA Williams Racing 1:46.836 +1.789s 20
15 77 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo Racing 1:46.881 +1.834s 20
16 18 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team 1:46.975 +1.928s 16
17 20 Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team 1:46.982 +1.935s 14
18 22 Yuki Tsunoda JAP Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:47.035 +1.988s 23
19 24 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo Racing 1:47.089 +2.042s 20
20 47 Mick Schumacher GER Haas F1 Team 1:52.494 +7.447s 6