Formula 1

Leclerc leads Verstappen and Russell in third practice at the Spanish Grand Prix

2 Mins read
Credit: Ferrari Media

Charles Leclerc led the third and final free practice session of the 2022 Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.

Max Verstappen  finished in second position, just 0.072 seconds slower than the Scuderia Ferrari driver. George Russell finished in third position at the end of the session

The third free practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya started in baking hot conditions with air temperatures at 31 degrees C and track temperatures at 43 degrees C.

The hardest tyres in the Pirelli range of tyres has been designated for this race – white-striped hard compound tyres (C1), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C2), red-striped soft compound tyres (C3).

Lando Norris was the first driver out on the track. The young Briton had just 6 laps in second practice because he suffered damage to his chassis. Norris has a new chassis and set the first timed lap of 1m23.641s on the medium compound tyres.

Pierre Gasly returned to the pits with a Power Unit (PU) issue causing smoke to pour out of the rear of the car. Valtteri Bottas who also lost a lot of time in Friday practice due to PU issues came out on the soft compound tyres and slotted into first position with a lap time of 1m 21.326s.

Mick Schumacher returned to the pits with his rear brakes on fire. Carlos Sainz also had a change of chassis overnight due to a fuel pump issue.

With fifteen minutes to go, more than half the field had not set timed laps. Sainz went fastest but was soon displaced from the top spot by Leclerc with a lap time of 1m20.278s.

The two Oracle Red Bull Racing drivers, Verstappen and Sergio Pérez, slotted into second and fourth positions respectively on their first timed laps.

Russell was in fifth position, 0.735 seconds behind the leader. Lewis Hamilton was 0.487 seconds slower than his team-mate but returned to the pits with a DRS-related issue.

With thirty minutes to go, the order at the top of the time sheets was Leclerc, Verstappen, Sainz, Pérez, Russell, Hamilton, Bottas, Ocon, Zhou Guanyu and Fernando Alonso.

As the track rubbered in and the conditions improved, Kevin Magnussen and Bottas slotted into fifth and sixth positions respectively on the time sheets.

Leclerc on his first flying lap on a second set of soft compound tyres improved his lap time to a 1m19.772s. Russell then slotted into second position, just 0.148 seconds slower than Leclerc.

Verstappen then slotted into second position on his second run, just 0.072 seconds slower than Leclerc. Hamilton was in fourth position behind his team-mate Russell. Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team are definitely in the game this weekend.

Norris in the final minutes of the session finished in seventh position with team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in eleventh position.

The session ended with Leclerc, Verstappen, Russell, Hamilton, Sainz, Pérez, Norris, Magnussen, Bottas, and Esteban Ocon in the top ten positions.

The pole position is going to be hotly contested by Leclerc and Verstappen with the Mercedes drivers in the mix.

2022 Spanish Grand Prix FP3 Results:

116Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1:19.77222
21Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1:19.844+0.072s11
363George RussellGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:19.920+0.148s15
444Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:20.002+0.230s17
555Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1:20.129+0.357s22
611Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing1:20.260+0.488s18
74Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1:20.403+0.631s17
820Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team1:20.646+0.874s20
977Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo Racing1:20.781+1.009s23
1031Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1:20.882+1.110s17
113Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1:20.910+1.138s16
125Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:20.944+1.172s23
1314Fernando AlonsoESPBWT Alpine F1 Team1:20.981+1.209s16
1424Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo Racing1:21.201+1.429s18
1522Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri1:21.449+1.677s21
1618Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team1:21.520+1.748s22
1723Alexander AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1:21.572+1.800s17
186Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:22.419+2.647s17
1947Mick SchumacherGERHaas F1 Team1:25.467+5.695s4
2010Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri1
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