Saudi Arabian GP: Max Verstappen leads his Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez to complete the triplet in Jeddah practice -Dlight News

Saudi Arabian GP: Max Verstappen leads his Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez to complete the triplet in Jeddah practice

Max Verstappen dominated final practice to finish 0.6sec behind Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez; Fernando Alonso third while Aston Martin remains the best of the rest; Watch qualifying for the Saudi Arabian GP live on Saturday from 4pm on Sky Sports F1

Max Verstappen has topped all three practice sessions at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen has topped all three practice sessions at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen led teammate Sergio Perez to complete a practice hat trick at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, as Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso remained Red Bull’s closest rival.

The reigning world champion continued his dominating form by clocking a time of 1:28.485 to finish more than 0.6sec ahead of Pérez, with Alonso barely a second behind the third-place Dutchman around Formula 1’s fastest street circuit in jeddah.

While Red Bull have established themselves as heavy favorites for both Saturday qualifying and Sunday’s race, the battle behind them promises to be an exciting one with just half a second covering Alonso and the 12 cars that finished behind him.

Lance Stroll underscored Aston Martin’s strength by trailing Alonso in fourth, while Lewis Hamilton improved on his performance on Friday to finish fifth for Mercedes.

Charles Leclerc, who will receive a 10-place grid penalty in Sunday’s race after using new parts, was sixth but Ferrari did little to assuage fears over its reliability as both drivers appeared to be operating with their units. of newly installed power for this weekend operating well below its full capacity.

There was finally some encouragement for McLaren as Lando Norris finished seventh, one place, and only milliseconds, ahead of rookie teammate Oscar Pisatri.

Pierre Gasly showed enough to suggest that Alpine may be part of what promises to be a hugely unpredictable qualifying contest, finishing ninth ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Mercedes’ George Russell.

The big losers of the session were AlphaTauri, who was unable to get Nyck de Vries out on track after a technical problem forced him to change his power unit, while his teammate Yuki Tsunoda was the last to score. time.

The afternoon session provides an imperfect indicator of how qualifying will play out under the lights later on Saturday, but the fact that track temperatures dropped amid heavy cloud cover made the conditions more representative.

After leading a dominant one-two for Red Bull at the season-opening race in Bahrain earlier this month, Verstappen looks set to continue a dream start to a campaign he hopes will net him a third straight drivers’ title.

“Sergio is also a big part of Max,” said Sky Sports F1’s Damon Hill. “He’s aiming for total dominance here by the Red Bulls and Max, so we’ll have to wait for some battles behind them.”

With Ferrari looking unsure of their engines and Mercedes looking to rebuild after accepting they went the wrong way with their design concept, it is Alonso and Aston Martin who seem best placed to take advantage of any Red Bull mishap.

The only discomfort Verstappen experienced in final practice was self-inflicted, as the Dutchman nearly caused a crash by failing to get out of Norris’s path as he inched into Turn 8.

Verstappen has reached out to Norris to apologize and has not faced any punishment for an incident drivers would be penalized for if it occurred in qualifying.

Saudi Arabian GP Practice Three Time Sheet

Driver Equipment Time
1) Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:29.603
2) Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.613
3) Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +0.998
4) Spear ride Aston Martin +1,024
5) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1,083
6) Carlos Leclerc ferrari +1,103
7) Lando Norris McLaren +1,205
8) Oscar Piastri McLaren +1,213
9) Pierre Gasley Alpine +1,216
10) Carlos Sainz ferrari +1,276
11) George Russell Mercedes +1,326
12) Zhou Guanyu alfa romeo +1,432
13) Nico Hulkenberg haas +1,448
14) Esteban Ocon Alpine +1,468
15) Alex Albon williams +1,498
16) Logan Sergeant williams +1,550
17) Kevin Magnussen haas +1,646
18) Valtteri Bottas alfa romeo +1,832
19) Yuki Tsunoda alphatauri +2,312
20) Nyck deVries alphatauri there is no time

Formula 1 street racing is back! Watch the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Saturday qualifying and Sunday’s race are live at 5pm Get Sky Sports

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