Max tops the board again during final practice in Jeddah
Published on 18 March 2023 by Mike Motilall
Max Verstappen was during the final practice for the Saudi-Arabia Grand Prix once again the quickest. He finished no less than six tenths of a second ahead of his team mate Sergio Perez, who came in second. The gap to Fernando Alonso, running third fastest, was almost one second. Lance Stroll finished fourth while Hamilton rounded out the top five.
At the start of the final free practice on the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, there is no action on track for quite some time. Max Verstappen is the only Dutchman in this session to see some action; Nyck de Vries is unable to partake due to an engine issue. After about fifteen minutes, we see Max head out on track. He has opted for the harder compound tyre on his RB19. Two purple sectors earn him the second fastest time, behind Pierre Gasly. Max is able to better his time by a tenth, but Perez is faster by as much as three tenths on the soft.
Verstappen heads back in after just one more improvement. Halfway of this final session, the top five consists of: Pérez, Verstappen, Gasly, Esteban Ocon and Hamilton. Ocon almost loses his Alpine in Turn 10, but is able to correct matters and continue on.
With still twenty minutes left on the clock, Max heads back out again, this time round on the softs. Not much later he has a moment with fellow driver Norris. Max gets in the way of the Briton who almost runs into the back of the Red Bull. Max realizes his mistake and raises his hand in his cockpit to apologize. By now, both Aston Martins have been making tracks and are now to be found in the top five. Remarkable is the fact that both Ferraris are nowhere to be seen in the top ten.
Verstappen improves his own fastest lap time and clocks a 1:28.660. With still five minutes remaining, he pushes once more and does a 1:28.485. With that, he is well over six tenths faster than Perez, who is second, and almost a whole second faster than Alonso in third. This is also the top three when the flag drops in Jeddah. Stroll follows in fourth while Hamilton rounds out the top five.
|1||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||1:28.485||19|
|2||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||1:29.098||+0.613s||14|
|3||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:29.483||+0.998s||20|
|4||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:29.509||+1.024s||20|
|7||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||1:29.690||+1.205s||17|
|8||Oscar Piastri||PIA||McLaren Mercedes||1:29.698||+1.213s||22|
|9||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Alpine Renault||1:29.701||+1.216s||18|
|12||Zhou Guanyu||ZHO||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:29.917||+1.432s||20|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||HUL||Haas Ferrari||1:29.933||+1.448s||18|
|14||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||1:29.953||+1.468s||18|
|15||Alexander Albon||ALB||Williams Mercedes||1:29.983||+1.498s||17|
|16||Logan Sargeant||SAR||Williams Mercedes||1:30.035||+1.550s||17|
|17||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||1:30.131||+1.646s||14|
|18||Valtteri Bottas||BOT||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:30.317||+1.832s||19|
|19||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||1:30.797||+2.312s||19|