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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. 

Contest GP Saudi Arabia: win a by Max Verstappen signed Red Bull Racing Driver Cap 2023!

Results third free practice Saudi Arabia:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:28.485 19
2Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:29.098+0.613s14
3Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:29.483+0.998s20
4Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:29.509+1.024s20
5Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:29.568+1.083s17
6Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:29.588+1.103s15
7Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:29.690+1.205s17
8Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:29.698+1.213s22
9Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:29.701+1.216s18
10Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:29.761+1.276s15
11George RussellRUSMercedes1:29.811+1.326s18
12Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:29.917+1.432s20
13Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:29.933+1.448s18
14Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:29.953+1.468s18
15Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:29.983+1.498s17
16Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:30.035+1.550s17
17Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:30.131+1.646s14
18Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:30.317+1.832s19
19Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:30.797+2.312s19