Alex Albon split the two Red Bulls in the final practice session for Formula 1’s Mexican Grand Prix to raise hopes of a mighty Williams surprise in qualifying.
- Verstappen fastest, 0.1s covers the top three
- Starring Albon second-quickest
- Both Ferraris outside the top 10
The top three drivers were covered by just over a tenth of a second at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with Max Verstappen quickest ahead of Albon and Sergio Perez.
Verstappen first jumped to the top of the times halfway through the session before Albon went a good deal quicker on his final run in the Williams.
Albon’s 1m17.957s was so quick that both Mercedes and McLaren drivers fell well short of matching it, and only Verstappen could surpass it.
Even then, the world champion was less than a tenth faster than his old Red Bull team-mate, before his current one – Perez – completed the ultra-tight top three with a lap 0.14s slower.
It follows a seriously impressive Friday for Williams that indicates the team and Albon have the chance of a big result this weekend, one that could finally lock down a valuable seventh place in the constructors’ championship.
There was a small gap to the next gaggle of cars, headed by the lead Mercedes of George Russell. In fact, the gap from Verstappen to Russell covered the seven cars from fourth to 10th.
That group included a few drivers who would dearly love to replicate the result again in qualifying: Valtteri Bottas in sixth for Alfa Romeo, Yuki Tsunoda in seventh and his AlphaTauri team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in ninth.
Lewis Hamilton was only 10th in the second Mercedes but still fared better than the two Ferrari drivers who were outside the top 10 altogether – Charles Leclerc in 13th after catching traffic and Carlos Sainz, who had a spin after encountering the slower-moving Lance Stroll, in 15th.
Another notable underwhelming duo was Aston Martin’s pair: Stroll the quicker of the two in 14th with Fernando Alonso only 17th.
Practice 3 Results
|Pos||Name||Car||Best Time||Gap Leader|
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1m17.887s|
|3||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1m18.026s||+0.139s|
|6||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m18.437s||+0.550s|
|7||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT||1m18.450s||+0.563s|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT||1m18.499s||+0.612s|
|12||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m18.917s||+1.030s|
|14||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m19.094s||+1.207s|
|17||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m19.471s||+1.584s|