until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Everything that happened in final Saudi Arabian GP F1 practice

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

Defending Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen completed a clean sweep of practice sessions for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah.

Key moments:

> Verstappen six tenths clear

> Red Bull in league of its own

> Aston best of the rest again

> Hamilton improves after Friday struggles

> Light at the end of tunnel for McLaren

Verstappen was already just a tenth off table-topping team-mate Sergio Perez after the initial runs, despite using hards to Perez’s softs, and proved untouchable after swapping to the red-walled compound himself.

Briefly under investigation for potentially impeding McLaren’s Lando Norris – with Verstappen raising his hand in apology and the stewards soon coming out with a ‘no further action’ verdict – the Dutchman ended the session over six tenths of a second clear of Perez courtesy of a late improvement.

And despite that huge gap, Perez himself was a comfortable second, with four tenths in hand over closely-matched Aston Martin duo Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll.

Lewis Hamilton in fifth shrugged off his Friday discomfort to lap three tenths quicker than Mercedes team-mate George Russell, which translated to five drivers slotting in between them.

Those drivers were Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (carrying a 10-place grid penalty this weekend), the impressive McLarens of Norris and Oscar Piastri, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and Leclerc’s team-mate Carlos Sainz.

Just 0.834s separated Alonso in third and Alfa Romeo driver Valtteri Bottas in 18th, compared to 0.998s between Verstappen and Alonso.

Yuki Tsunoda in 19th was effectively last as the sole AlphaTauri representative in the session, with rookie team-mate Nyck de Vries absent after the team detected an engine issue in the lead-up that necessitated a change.

Practice 3 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m28.485s
2 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m29.098s +0.613s
3 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m29.483s +0.998s
4 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m29.509s +1.024s
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m29.568s +1.083s
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m29.588s +1.103s
7 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m29.69s +1.205s
8 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 1m29.698s +1.213s
9 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault 1m29.701s +1.216s
10 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m29.761s +1.276s
11 George Russell Mercedes 1m29.811s +1.326s
12 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m29.917s +1.432s
13 Nico Hülkenberg Haas-Ferrari 1m29.933s +1.448s
14 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m29.953s +1.468s
15 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m29.983s +1.498s
16 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes 1m30.035s +1.55s
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m30.131s +1.646s
18 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m30.317s +1.832s
19 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m30.797s +2.312s
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