FP3: Perez leads Red Bull 1-2 in final practice session of the season at Yas Marina
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez led team mate Max Verstappen in the final practice session of 2022 where drivers encountered a number of issues in the Abu Dhabi heat.
Perez led 30 minutes into the session on medium compounds as the soft-shod Mercedes traded top spot with him, but the Mexican driver emerged on soft tyres for his qualifying simulation with 15 minutes left and consolidated his position with a time of 1m 24.982s. Verstappen finished 0.152s off the pace having run wide at Turns 5 and 16.
Halfway into the session, a red flag was brought out to recover a piece of debris that had flown off the front-right wheel of Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and landed on the exit kerb of Turn 9.
Lewis Hamilton was cleared after being investigated for passing Kevin Magnussen as the red flag was deployed. The seven-time champion finished third and just over two tenths off the pace, with Mercedes team mate George Russell another two tenths off in P4.
Before that red flag Lando Norris’s McLaren sprung a front-right brake fire and Sebastian Vettel reported a similar problem a few minutes later. Norris continued to finish fifth, his team mate Daniel Ricciardo eighth, while Vettel took ninth.
FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 2022
Abu Dhabi 2022
Practice 3 results
|1 Sergio Perez PER Red Bull Racing
|2 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing
|3 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes
|4 George Russell RUS Mercedes
|5 Lando Norris NOR McLaren
Between the McLarens were the Ferraris of Carlos Sainz in P7 and an audibly unhappy Charles Leclerc in P6 – that pair split by three-hundredths of a second.
Alex Albon had a near miss with Norris at Turn 8 with 20 minutes left but the Williams driver went on to round out the top 10 ahead of Alpine pair Esteban Ocon (P11) and Fernando Alonso (P12), who were split by 0.003s.
Yuki Tsunoda took 13th for AlphaTauri with his team mate Gasly 15th after that wheel issue, with Valtteri Bottas splitting the pair for Alfa Romeo.
Haas were next in the order as Kevin Magnussen took 17th and Mick Schumacher 18th, leaving Zhou Guanyu and Nicholas Latifi rounding out the order.