F1 United States GP: Perez leads FP3, Hamilton and Verstappen fastest laps deleted

Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has set the fastest time in third free practice for the US Formula 1 Grand Prix, while Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen saw their fastest laps deleted.

F1 United States GP: Perez leads FP3, Hamilton and Verstappen fastest laps deleted

In Saturday's FP3 session title rivals Hamilton and Verstappen both showed they still had plenty of pace in hand for qualifying but track limits excursions on their final timed lap meant that pace didn't translate into a valid laptime.

Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel was the first driver to take to a sunny Circuit of the Americas for the final hour of practice in what was a quiet early stage of the session.

After some lone install laps for Vettel and a leisurely timed lap by Alpine's Fernando Alonso the action finally picked up after 10 minutes when world champion Hamilton joined the fray, soon joined by most of his competitors.

In his Mercedes W12 Hamilton clocked a 1m35.814s on his first timed lap to take a provisional lead, using Pirelli's soft tyre that would be used by the entire field.

Hamilton's time was soon improved upon by Red Bull's Perez, who dipped 0.181s below the Briton's benchmark by setting a 1m35.633s.

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

On his second set of softs Hamilton reclaimed the lead with a 1m35.571s effort, while teammate Valtteri Bottas' first effort was scrubbed for track limits.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc slotted in behind Perez in third, ahead of teammate Sainz.

The ante was upped when championship leader Verstappen joined the track. After not getting a fast lap in during Friday's FP2, Verstappen immediately took over the lead, the Red Bull driver taking over three tenths out of Hamilton's previous benchmark to go top with a 1m35.207s after 25 minutes.

His teammate Perez joined him up front by setting a lap time that was just 0.001s slower, handing Red Bull an early 1-2.

Shortly after the halfway mark Verstappen improved again to set a 1m34.912s, just dipping below Perez' table-topping FP2 lap.

Verstappen's pace prompted a response from Mercedes. With 20 minutes left to run Bottas took second just 0.076s behind the Dutchman by virtue of a purple second sector, which includes COTA's long straight on which Mercedes can flex its top speed muscle.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

But soon after Sainz set the fastest time for Ferrari, his 1m34.805s a tenth quicker than Verstappen, which suggested that F1's two top teams still had some pace left in the bank.

That was modestly demonstrated by Perez, who took the lead with a 1m34.701s while teammate Verstappen was delayed by a precautionary rear wing change.

With his new wing Verstappen clocked a 1m34.383s, but his time was deleted for exceeding track limits in the penultimate corner.

Hamilton was next to go top for mere seconds as his 1m34.458s effort was too deleted by the stewards due to leaving the track at Turn 9, leaving Perez's top spot intact until the finish.

Sainz finished the session in second, followed by Verstappen, McLaren's Lando Norris and Bottas, while Hamilton's scrubbed lap meant he finished down in sixth.

Daniel Ricciardo was seventh in the second McLaren ahead of AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was ninth after reporting struggles with his rear tyres, with Alpine's Esteban Ocon rounding out the top 10, which was covered by one second.

Sebastian Vettel took 11th for Aston Martin followed by the first Williams of George Russell.

Kimi Raikkonen was 13th for Alfa Romeo, narrowly ahead of Nicholas Latifi in the second Williams.

Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi was 15th followed by the second Aston of Lance Stroll.

Fernando Alonso took 17th after undergoing an engine change in his Alpine, which will relegate him to the back of the grid.

In the second AlphaTauri Yuki Tsunoda was only 18th, with Haas duo Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin propping up the timesheets.

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap km/h
1 Mexico Sergio Perez 13 1'34.701   209.573
2 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. 16 1'34.805 0.104 209.343
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen 13 1'34.912 0.211 209.107
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris 13 1'34.945 0.244 209.034
5 Finland Valtteri Bottas 15 1'34.988 0.287 208.940
6 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 16 1'35.219 0.518 208.433
7 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 11 1'35.345 0.644 208.157
8 France Pierre Gasly 17 1'35.398 0.697 208.042
9 Monaco Charles Leclerc 17 1'35.688 0.987 207.411
10 France Esteban Ocon 10 1'35.711 1.010 207.361
shares
comments

Related video

Alonso set for grid penalty at COTA after F1 engine change
Previous article

Alonso set for grid penalty at COTA after F1 engine change

Next article

F1 United States GP: Verstappen beats Hamilton to pole position

F1 United States GP: Verstappen beats Hamilton to pole position
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022