The third free practice in preparation for qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Miami has been completed by Sergio Perez as the fastest driver.
At the Miami International Autodrome, the Mexican was too fast for Charles Leclerc with the fastest time of 1:30.304. Max Verstappen got stuck on P3. The Dutchman only just kept his RB18 out of the wall in the final phase of the session.
After the lights went green for the last practice, the first time behind Max Verstappen’s name appeared in 1:34.037. The Limburger’s teammate, Sergio Perez, closed in on P2 followed by Valtteri Bottas. Charles Leclerc passed Carlos Sainz’s P4, leaving Sebastian Vettel outside the top 5. Even before the first 10 minutes had passed, Leclerc took over the P1 from his rival, Verstappen.
The head of the field had some changes. Verstappen now took position on P1 in 1:31.355. Leclerc thus came behind the Dutchman. Behind the 2 ruffs they drove hard, first it was Mick Schumacher who had P3 behind his name but Mercedes had started to set fast times. George Russell climbed up behind Leclerc, followed by Sainz, behind the Spaniard was Lewis Hamilton.
While Mick Schumacher flew to P3, Esteban Ocon slid into the wall at Turn 14. The Frenchman who worked for Alpine lost his car with extensive damage and a red flag, Ocon got out of the car himself.
Bad news for Max Verstappen who, despite the fastest time of the moment, had only completed 7 laps with 42 minutes left. It lasted another 10 minutes, leaving half an hour in the session. Schumacher’s teammate, Dane Kevin Magnussen improved to the top 5. However, the Haas driver lost a place due to an improvement by Sainz who referred Schumacher back to P4.
With 25 minutes to go, Bottas moved up to P3 due to a slipstream from Pierre Gasly. The Alpha Tauri driver (P13) was working on a racing simulation.
Verstappen’s fastest time was improved by his rival Leclerc. The Ferrari driver was almost 4 tenths of a second faster than the Dutchman in his lap time of 1:30.981. Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly was also doing fast laps, positioning himself in P4 behind Bottas. His former teammate Lewis Hamilton ended up behind the Finn. The difference between the 2 drivers was 0.05 seconds.
With 11 minutes left on the clock, Sergio Perez set a sharp time in 1:30.649. Verstappen in turn went under and was 0.050 seconds faster than the Mexican. Leclerc seemed unable to answer at the time from P3 and was chased by Daniel Ricciardo in the McLaren. The battle for P4 was furious, Fernando Alonso gave his Alpine the spurs and took the position from the Australian. However, the Spaniard had to give in to Sebastian Vettel again. Sainz moved into P5 after an improvement for Alonso while a lap later Perez improved Verstappen’s fastest time to a new fastest time of 1:30.304.
Verstappen experienced a perilous moment in the final phase when coming out of turn 13. The Dutchman was doing a very fast lap but lost his car which he could barely keep out of the concrete. Charles Leclerc improved when the flag fell to P2 behind Sergio Perez, Verstappen had to settle for P3. The top 5 was complimented by Fernando Alonso in P4 and Sebastian Vettel in P5.
Results first free practice Grand Prix of Miami 2022