Verstappen leads the Ferrari duo in final practice for the French Grand Prix |  Formula 1®

Verstappen leads the Ferrari duo in final practice for the French Grand Prix | Formula 1®

Max Verstappen set the fastest lap of FP3 in France with a late run on soft tires and held Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc by a comfortable margin.

Verstappen held the lead for most of the session thanks to his early benchmark of 1m32.808s on medium tyres. While the Dutchman emerged a few minutes into FP3, Leclerc and Sainz emerged after 15 minutes, Leclerc on hard tires for eight laps (a turn 12 spin shortened his run) while Sainz emerged to ride on soft tyres.

Neither could match or eclipse Verstappen until grip and temperatures soared at the very end of FP3 as Sainz topped the field with a time of 1m32.626s. At this point, however, Verstappen decided to switch from medium to soft and returned to the top with a stunning performance of 1m32.272s.

READ MORE: Sainz and Magnussen will start the French Grand Prix from the back of the grid after a series of engine changes

The championship leader relegated Sainz – who was set to start Sunday’s race due to drivetrain changes at the back of the grid – in second place (0.354s away), while Leclerc was 0.637s back in P3, complaining that his tires were falling after a flight dropped effort.

Lewis Hamilton took P4 in FP3, the Mercedes driver uses a different rear wing than his team-mate. On runs on soft tyres, Hamilton finished 0.983s off Verstappen’s pace, with Sergio Perez trailing behind in fifth after executing the same plan for medium-soft runs as the reigning champion in the other Red Bull.

1


Max
Verstappen
VER
Red Bull race

1:32.272

2


Carlos
Sainz
SAI
Ferrari

+0.354s

3


Karl
Leclerc
LEC
Ferrari

+0.637s

4


Lewis
Hamilton
HAM
Mercedes

+0.983s

5


Sergio
Perez
PER
Red Bull race

+1.021s

George Russell was sixth, just eight hundredths off teammate Hamilton, while Alpine’s Fernando Alonso switched from medium to soft very late in the session to jump to seventh place.

Behind Alonso was Williams’ Alex Albon, who finished eighth in his recently upgraded Williams – while teammate Nicholas Latifi was P12 in that session as he too was enjoying the new Williams updates.

READ MORE: ‘It’s not spectacular’ – Mercedes say they’re ‘further off pace than we hoped’ after Friday in France

Between the Williams, McLaren’s Lando Norris was in ninth, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda in 10th and Daniel Ricciardo in P11.

Pierre Gasly made it 13th for AlphaTauri in this session ahead of the Alfa Romeos, Valtteri Bottas in 14th and Zhou Guanyu in 15th.

French GP FP3 2022: Leclerc flat spots in front left tire with spin in final practice

Kevin Magnussen will start from the back for the Grand Prix with Sainz having also taken new Ferrari engine components and he was 16th for Haas after ending the session with an 11-lap stint on medium tyres.

Esteban Ocon was next on the board in P17 for Alpine after a couple of consistent stints on medium and a late run on softs.

READ MORE: 5 things we learned from Friday practice at the French Grand Prix

Mick Schumacher was 19th, occupied by Aston Martins – Lance Stroll 18th and Sebastian Vettel 20th. The four-time champion missed the second half of FP3 with soil damage.

With qualifying approaching, Red Bull have shown a turnaround in pace and perhaps gave Ferrari some cause for concern in France. Join us at 4pm local time for live coverage.

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