Saudi Arabian GP: Max Verstappen leads Red Bull group-mate Sergio Perez to full Jeddah practice treble | F1 News
Max Verstappen dominated final practice to finish .6s clear of Red Bull group-mate Sergio Perez Fernando Alonso third as Aston Martin stay finest of the rest Watch Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying reside on Saturday from 4pm on Sky Sports F1
15:ten, UK, Saturday 18 March 2023
Max Verstappen led group-mate Sergio Perez to full a practice treble at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso remained Red Bull’s closest challenger.
The reigning globe champion continued his dominant type by recording a 1:28.485 to finish far more than .6s ahead of Perez, with Alonso just quick of a second behind the Dutchman in third at Formula 1’s quickest street circuit in Jeddah.
Whilst Red Bull have established themselves as heavy favourites for each qualifying later on Saturday and Sunday’s race, the battle behind them promises to be thrilling with just half a second covering Alonso and the 12 vehicles that completed behind him.
Lance Stroll underlined Aston Martin’s strength by slotting in behind Alonso in fourth, though Lewis Hamilton enhanced on his Friday displaying to finish fifth for Mercedes.
Charles Leclerc, who will obtain a ten-spot grid penalty in Sunday’s race immediately after taking on new components, was sixth but Ferrari did small to smooth fears more than their reliability as each of their drivers appeared to operate with their newly-fitted energy units for this weekend operating properly under complete capacity.
Verstappen just misses Lando Norris as he gets away with his error out in P3 at the Saudi Arabia GP.
There was lastly some encouragement for McLaren as Lando Norris completed seventh, a spot – and just a couple of thousandths of a second – ahead of rookie group-mate Oscar Pisatri.
Pierre Gasly showed sufficient to recommend Alpine can be element of what promises to be a hugely unpredictable qualifying contest, finishing ninth ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Mercedes’ George Russell.
The session’s large losers had been AlphaTauri, who had been unable to send Nyck de Vries out on track immediately after a technical situation left them needing to transform his energy unit, though group-mate Yuki Tsunoda was final amongst these who set occasions.
The late-afternoon session delivers an imperfect indicator of how qualifying will shake out beneath the lights later on Saturday, but the truth that the track temperature dropped amid heavy cloud cover produced situations far more representative.
Immediately after major a dominant Red Bull one particular-two at the opening race of the season in Bahrain earlier this month, Verstappen appears set to continue a dream start out to a campaign he hopes will yield a third successive drivers’ title.
“Sergio is nevertheless a large chunk off Max as properly,” Sky Sports F1’s Damon Hill mentioned. “It does point towards a total dominance right here by the Red Bulls and Max, so we’re going to have to hope for some battles behind them.”
Former F1 Globe Champion Nico Rosberg insists his former Mercedes group-mate Lewis Hamilton is nevertheless ‘super motivated’ regardless of the team’s present complications.
With Ferrari appearing unsure of their engines and Mercedes hunting to rebuild immediately after accepting they have taken the incorrect path with their design and style idea, it really is Alonso and Aston Martin who seem finest placed to take benefit of any Red Bull mishaps.
The only discomfort Verstappen knowledgeable in final practice was self-inflicted, with the Dutchman practically causing a crash as he failed to get out of the way of the speedy-moving Norris though going gradually on the strategy to Turn eight.
Verstappen pulled alongside Norris to apologise, and faced no punishment for an incident that drivers would be penalised for if it occurred in qualifying.
Saudi Arabian GP Practice 3 Timesheet
1) Max Verstappen
two) Sergio Perez
three) Fernando Alonso
four) Lance Stroll
five) Lewis Hamilton
six) Charles Leclerc
7) Lando Norris
eight) Oscar Piastri
9) Pierre Gasly
ten) Carlos Sainz
11) George Russell
12) Zhou Guanyu
13) Nico Hulkenberg
14) Esteban Ocon
15) Alex Albon
16) Logan Sargeant
17) Kevin Magnussen
18) Valtteri Bottas
19) Yuki Tsunoda
20) Nyck de Vries
Formula 1 street racing is back! Watch the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix reside on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race are reside at 5pm. Get Sky Sports