Defending Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen completed a clean sweep of practice sessions for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah.
> 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|
|12||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m29.917s||+1.432s|
|18||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m30.317s||+1.832s|
|19||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT||1m30.797s||+2.312s|