Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Formula 1 Abu Dhabi GP

F1 Abu Dhabi GP: Perez pips Verstappen in final FP3 of 2022

Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez has topped third and final practice session of Formula 1's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, holding off team-mate Max Verstappen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18

Aston Martin duo Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll opened the final practice session of 2022 on a toasty Yas Marina Circuit, with conditions not entirely representative of this afternoon's qualifying session held at dusk.

That contributed to a quiet opening period with Ferrari the only front running team keen to accrue mileage, Charles Leclerc leading early on with a modest 1m27.314s on medium tyres, taking six tenths out of Carlos Sainz' first benchmark.

Mercedes joined the fray just before the 10-minute mark. F1's latest grand prix winner George Russell went straight to the top courtesy of a 1m26.530s, only for Hamilton to leapfrog him with a 1m26.040s, both using Pirelli's softest compound.

As the midfield teams made inroads on the fastest times Alpine's Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon entered the top four, splitting Hamilton and Russell, while Leclerc came to within half a tenth of Hamilton's leading time.

Ocon briefly came to a stop at Turn 14 after 25 minutes, causing a yellow flag, but the Frenchman managed to get going again.

Red Bull joined the party fashionably late, with world champion Verstappen the last man to turn a wheel. As he stayed in the garage for the first half of the session, team-mate Perez went top with a 1m25.861s on mediums.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

The session was red-flagged just before the halfway mark for debris shed by Pierre Gasly, whose puncture tore off a piece of his AlphaTauri's right-front wheelbrow when he ran over the Turn 9 exit kerbs.

Gasly reported "strange vibrations" on the front axle before the incident, hinting at possible underlying suspension issues.

Under the red flag Hamilton overtook both McLaren's Lando Norris and a Haas' Kevin Magnussen, which will be looked into by the FIA stewards.

When the track went green again Verstappen finally set a lap on softs, taking third two tenths shy of Perez, while Hamilton jumped the Mexican with a 1m25.824s on softs.

Heading into the final 20 minutes Williams' Alex Albon briefly took fourth, indicating just how much lap time the quicker teams were yet to find.

Russell went top with a 1m25.395s as all teams now took on softs, but he was quickly demoted by both Perez and Hamilton, while Norris and McLaren team-mate Daniel Ricciardo joined Verstappen in the top six.

Perez's 1m24.982s would turn out to be the fastest time of the session.

Verstappen set a purple first sector on his next attempt, but slotted in behind Perez in second, followed by Hamilton, Russell and Norris.

With their late attempts, Ferrari duo Leclerc and Sainz split the McLarens, taking sixth and seventh ahead of Ricciardo.

Vettel finished his last F1 practice session in ninth one second from the top of the sheets, with Albon taking a promising 10th.

Alpine's Ocon and Alonso followed in 11th and 12th, with AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda 13th and Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas 14th-fastest.

After his puncture Gasly returned late to take 15th ahead of Stroll and Haas duo Magnussen and Mick Schumacher.

Zhou Guanyu and Nicholas Latifi propped up the bottom of the times.

F1 Abu Dhabi GP: Full FP3 results

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 15 1'24.982  
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 15 1'25.134 0.152
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 20 1'25.222 0.240
4 United Kingdom George Russell Mercedes 15 1'25.395 0.413
5 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 16 1'25.518 0.536
6 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 24 1'25.571 0.589
7 Spain Carlos Sainz Ferrari 23 1'25.605 0.623
8 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 18 1'25.950 0.968
9 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 13 1'26.012 1.030
10 Thailand Alex Albon Williams 16 1'26.051 1.069
11 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 17 1'26.073 1.091
12 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 18 1'26.076 1.094
13 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 19 1'26.170 1.188
14 Finland Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 17 1'26.189 1.207
15 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 12 1'26.239 1.257
16 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 20 1'26.298 1.316
17 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas 21 1'26.356 1.374
18 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 19 1'26.473 1.491
19 China Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 17 1'26.482 1.500
20 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 14 1'26.646 1.664



Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Hamilton facing stewards’ investigation over FP3 red flag rules breach
Next article Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content