FP3: Leclerc leads Russell and Verstappen in close final session at Zandvoort – Formula 1

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Charles Leclerc set the fastest time in final practice for the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix, with George Russell just 0.066s off the Ferrari driver in P2 for Mercedes to leave Max Verstappen third for Red Bull.

Leclerc’s car was shielded by a barricade of Ferrari engineers as they undertook work on the car midway through the session. The team said there was “no problem”, despite the row of mechanics, and Leclerc finished first overall with a time of 1m 11.632s, set with 14 minutes remaining.

READ MORE: 5 things we learned from Friday practice at the Dutch Grand Prix

Russell went second for Mercedes by 0.066s while Verstappen, who held the early soft tire benchmark, finished third. The Dutchman appeared much later than the others for his second soft tire run and swung 0.161s off Leclerc’s pace.

Carlos Sainz finished fourth, just over a tenth behind Verstappen, while Lewis Hamilton finished fifth – half a second off the pace to leave Sergio Perez sixth. The Mexican driver appeared early to test a new set-up, which he noted was “much worse”, as Red Bull struggled for relegation after Mercedes took a one-two in. FP1 and Ferrari finished one-two in FP2.

1


Carlos
Leclerc
LEC
Ferrari

1:11.632

2


George
Russell
RUS
Mercedes

+0.066s

3


Max
Verstappen
VER
Red Bull Racing

+0.161s

4


Carlos
Sainz
SAI
Ferrari

+0.339s

5


Lewis
Hamilton
HAM
Mercedes

+0.524s

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso took seventh ahead of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, while Mick Schumacher set the pace in Sector 2 to go ninth for Haas, dropping Lando Norris to P10 for McLaren.

Kevin Magnussen finished five-hundredths off his teammate in P11 for Haas while Lance Stroll was just under three-tenths off Vettel in P12.

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Alex Albon took P13 for Williams, ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon plus the AlphaTauri pair – Pierre Gasly 15th and Yuki Tsunoda 16th.

Behind Ricciardo were the Alfa Romeos, both of whom struggled in FP3. Valtteri Bottas’ soft-tyre runs came very late and he finished 18th ahead of teammate Zhou Guanyu. Nicholas Latifi rounded off the session in P20.

Qualifying follows at 1500 local time with Ferrari holding the cards. But can Verstappen collect a second straight pole position at home?

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