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.

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

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

 

 

shares
comments
Hamilton facing stewards’ investigation over FP3 red flag rules breach
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

Where Vettel stands in the list of the greatest F1 drivers
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023