Scroll downfor the latest news

Max quickest after third free practice in Texas

Published on 22 October 2022 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen finished at the top of the leaderboard during the final free practice for the United States Grand Prix. The brand new two-time world champion and Charles Leclerc were both very fast, but in the dying minutes of the session, Max snatched P1 from the Monegasque.  Carlos Sainz came in third fastest. Sergio Perez, Max’ team mate at Oracle Red Bull Racing finished fourth while Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top five.

The final practice starts under windy conditions and with relatively many cars on track. Due to the fact that the second free practice was all about Pirelli’s tyre test. This meant that the teams were not able to collect as much data as they wanted for qualifying. This put a lot of emphasis on the final free practice. Max was very quickly out and about on the Circuit of the Americas. With the first time he set, he ended up right behind of Leclerc, 65 thousandths down. The Ferrari-driver drove a 1:37.471 as both drivers ran on the soft compound tyre. Leclerc has also had a new combustion engine and turbo in his Ferrari installed. This will drop him ten places after qualifying. Fernando Alonso, Zhou Guanyu and Pérez will all be dropped five places due to new parts on their cars.

After only a few minutes already, we see Mick Schumacher slowly cruising over start-finish. He appears to have a technical issue and is driving back to the pits at a snail’s pace. Pérez takes away Leclerc’s time, which in turn gets taken away by Max as he does a 1:36.706. The next technical problem during this session is a fact: Daniel Ricciardo reports on the radio that there is something wrong with his brake pedal. The team says that they cannot see anything on the data, but the Aussie heads back to the pits anyway to have it inspected.

Lewis Hamilton shortly takes the number one spot but is quickly demoted by Pérez. With still half an hour to go, the top five consists of: Pérez, Hamilton, Verstappen, Leclerc and Sainz. The top four ran on the soft compound while Sainz opted for the mediums. Many teams are busy with a race simulation during the second part of the practice. This means that the times largely remain the same. Ricciardo heads back out again as he tells his team that the brakes feel a lot better now. The Haas mechanics have also managed to get Schumacher’s car up and running again, this means that the German is able to still see some action during the final fifteen minutes.  

At that moment, only a few cars are out and about. Hamilton opens the charge on the quickest lap on a fresh set of the softs. But a slow second sector and a moment in the penultimate corner deprive him of the opportunity. With well over ten minutes to go, the drivers slowly head back out on the asphalt again. Max also. He misses the first corner on his fresh softs and reports on the radio that it’s ‘tricky’ on the circuit. His second attempt yields him the top spot. Leclerc slots in a tenth down. Sainz, who has had a good running on the mediums the entire session, tries his luck on a set of the softs. He comes in 48 thousandths slower than Verstappen, which puts him third fastest. Verstappen settles down and straps in as he tries to take the top spot again, which has been claimed by Leclerc by now. The Dutchman manages to string three purple sector times together. He is up on Leclerc by as much as three tenths with a 1:35.825.

With this Max Verstappen tops the board at the final free practice. Leclerc follows in second place with team mate Sainz in P3. Hamilton and Pérez come in fourth and fifth.

Contest US GP: win a 1:4 scale model Austin 2022 Max Verstappen helmet! 

Results third free practice United-states:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing RBPT1:35.825 21
2Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:36.145+0.320s17
3Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:36.271+0.446s24
4Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing RBPT1:36.397+0.572s19
5Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:36.401+0.576s16
6Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:36.928+1.103s13
7George RussellRUSMercedes1:37.064+1.239s20
8Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:37.151+1.326s18
9Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:37.215+1.390s19
10Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri RBPT1:37.290+1.465s17
11Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:37.310+1.485s22
12Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:37.449+1.624s18
13Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:37.468+1.643s17
14Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:37.519+1.694s20
15Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:37.622+1.797s15
16Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri RBPT1:37.888+2.063s18
17Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:37.904+2.079s17
18Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:38.028+2.203s17
19Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:38.132+2.307s11
20Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:39.735+3.910s3