Lando Norris set the fastest lap for McLaren ahead of Ferrari’s Chars Leclerc in the final practice session of the Australian Grand Prix. Several drivers went off the track in difficult conditions – Aston Martin drivers failed in separate accidents.
Albert Park hosted FP3 on Saturday afternoon with another design change, with four DRS areas cut into three for “safety reasons”. Most drivers ran this session on the softest of vehicles (C5) – although grip was clearly high early on…
Read more: 5 things we learned from Friday’s training for the Australian Grand Prix
The session was interrupted when, 20 minutes later, FP2 absent Sebastian Vettel (who was also fined €5,000 for riding a scooter in the track after his car stopped in FP1) hit Turn 10 and pulled out a red flag pulled with just under 30 minute left.
Then Max Verstappen (P7) lapped into Turn 13, slipping back on a fast lap of medium tyres – but times quickly falter, and in the end it was Norris who clocked the fastest lap of 1 minute 19.117 seconds – FP2 leader Charles Leclerc of 0.132s. However, Norris was told to slow down late due to a suspected power unit issue.
Sergio Perez took a 0.016sec lead over the Ferrari championship leader, and the Red Bull driver was followed by the fast Alpine driver Fernando Alonso in P4.
Lance Stroll’s late crash at Turn 11 brought up the second red flag of the course and finished FP3 with a few minutes remaining, another Aston Martin prematurely exited.
+ 0.132 seconds
Red Bull Racing
+ 0.148 seconds
+ 0.158 seconds
Supreme Authority for Financial Control and Accountability
+ 0.302 seconds
Carlos Sainz rounded out the top five by 0.302 seconds over former teammate Norris, while McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo put out a flyer for P6 late – leaving Verstappen seventh. The Dutchman backed away from the late-flying attempt in frustration after losing his rear in Turn 1 – but showed a promising mid-paced pace.
Shortly before Vettel’s crash, Lewis Hamilton (P8) had clicked the wall but escaped in Turn 11, while George Russell (P11) also appeared to struggle through the cobbles of Turn 3 past the red flag.
Among the Mercedes were Alfa Romeo graduate Valtteri Bottas in P9 and AlphaTauri’s 10th-placed Yuki Tsunoda.
Tsunoda’s teammate Pierre Gasly was 10th behind in P12, while Esteban Ocon in Alpine mustache was behind him in P13.
2022 Australian GP FP3: Vettel hits the barrier
Mick Schumacher – who stopped to check on Vettel when the four-time champion crashed – set a late flight lap to end up 14th for Haas, ahead of Alfa Romeo rookie Zhou Guanyu in P15.
Williams was placed 16th by Alex Albon, 18th thanks to Nicholas Latifi – while Haas’ Kevin Magnussen ranked 17th between them.
That left Aston Martin last on the board in a tough show, Stroll 19th before the crash, and Vettel 20th without representative time on the board.
The qualifiers come at 1600 local time, after a very exciting FP3 session. Who has the advantage in Albert Park?
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