F1 Australian Grand Prix FP3 : Lando Norris as fastest man towards qualifying Max Verstappen has concluded the third free practice for the Australian Grand Prix with the seventh fastest time. The Dutchman recorded a time of 1:19:809 on the medium tire after a difficult session. McLaren driver Lando Norris finished at the top with a 1:19:117, followed by Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.
Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Perez, set the third fastest time. Spaniards Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz and local hero Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top six.
F1 Australian Grand Prix FP2 : Leclerc fastest man at Albert Park
At 1:00 p.m. local time, the lights in the pit lane of Melbourne’s Albert Park Circuit will turn green. It is a pleasant 24 degrees and cloudy. The third free practice starts quietly: Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou is the one who kicks off and is the first to report on the asphalt. Valtteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher also follow, but many drivers remain in the pit lane for a few moments.
The men have started the third free practice session with the knowledge that one DRS zone has been deleted on the Albert Park Circuit. This is for security reasons. This brings the number of DRS zones to three.
Lando Norris is the first to actually clock a time: he sets a 1:21:247 on the soft tyre. Verstappen reports after eight minutes on track in his RB18, with the medium tire underneath. The Limburger enters the track at the same time as Sebastian Vettel, who was fined on Friday for driving a marshal’s scooter back to the pit lane with a scooter from a marshal after his Aston Martin came to a stop.
Verstappen took over P1 from Norris with his first timed lap of 1:21:178. But seconds later, the teammate of the current world champion, Sergio Perez, takes over from him. He puts down a 1:21:024, also on the medium band. Then it’s time to switch: Leclerc, Sainz, Alonso and Perez alternate for the first position.
After twenty minutes there is a yellow flag for a short time because Lewis Hamilton goes through the gravel. A few seconds later, Vettel sees a red flag. His first Formula 1 weekend after his corona infection is not getting any better: he crashes in turn ten. He is able to get out of the car unscathed, but has given his team a lot of work to repair his damaged Aston Martin for qualifying. This time, Vettel chooses eggs for his money and gets on the back of a marshal’s scooter, who returns him to his team.
About ten minutes later, halfway through the third free practice session, Vettel’s damaged car has been removed and the track is reopened. It is urgent. Pierre Gasly is in front at the traffic light in the pit lane, but Verstappen drives around it and is the first to report back on track. The world champion is currently in eighth place. He is on his way to a fast time, but spins just before the end of his lap. After this trip, he can continue on his way. On the board radio we hear that Verstappen does not understand why he was spinning and that he is having trouble finding the balance in the car.
With twenty minutes left on the clock, many drivers are working on a qualifying simulation. The top six at that time consists of Perez, Alonso, Leclerc, Verstappen, Norris and Sainz. All these men put their time on the soft tyre, with the exception of Verstappen who took fourth place on the medium tyre.
The Mercedes drivers seem to be fighting quite a bit with the car this session. George Russell also makes some small trips and both drivers suffer from porpoising. With ten minutes to go, Max appears on the track with soft tires for the first time. He has to abort his first fast lap due to a small trip due to understeer. He also breaks off his second attempt on the soft tire visibly frustrated. The Limburger seems to have trouble keeping the car under control on the soft tyre.
With four minutes left on the clock, the drama is complete for the Aston Martin team: Lance Stroll crashes into the tire stack at Turn 11. The team still has a lot of homework to do before qualifying. The session is not resumed and with that the third free practice ends early with Lando Norris as fastest man in 1:19:117 ahead of Charles Leclerc. Sergio Perez was able to go to lunch with the third fastest time to his name.
Results third free practice Grand Prix of Australia 2022