FP3: Verstappen leads Leclerc as Sainz crashes out in wet final practice session in Montreal
Max Verstappen topped the timesheets in dominant style at a wet final practice session in Montreal, as the Red Bull driver set the pace ahead of Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso in preparation for qualifying later today.
Following a mostly dry day of running on Friday, the drivers were greeted with a wet track as heavy rain continued to fall in the area. This meant the teams opted to fit their cars with extreme wet tyres in the early stages of the session.
However, after 10 minutes of running, the drivers began to make the switch to the intermediates, as the teams investigated the crossover point for the tyres in conditions they are likely to face in qualifying later on.
As the times began to pour in on the intermediates, it was Verstappen and the Ferraris who swapped fastest laps, with the Dutch driver eventually going quickest by over two and half tenths to Carlos Sainz, with a time of 1m 24.480s.
FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAND PRIX DU CANADA 2023
Practice 3 results
|1 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing
|2 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari
|3 Fernando Alonso ALO Aston Martin
|4 Kevin Magnussen MAG Haas F1 Team
|5 Carlos Sainz SAI Ferrari
But it was soon to be bad news for Sainz, who spun into the barrier at Turn 1, heavily damaging both the front and rear of the SF23 and bringing out the red flags. In doing so he left his mechanics with a hefty repair job ahead of qualifying.
Once the session resumed Verstappen continued to set the timesheets alight setting the fastest time of 1m 23.106s on the inters, to lead Leclerc, in second, by 0.291s.
Alonso was third quickest although the Aston Martin driver was over a second off the pace of Verstappen, but he was ahead of the impressive Haas of Kevin Magnussen in fourth, while Sainz’s time was still good enough to see him round out the top five.
Pierre Gasly was sixth fastest for Alpine, ahead of the home favourite Lance Stroll and the AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda – who escaped colliding with barriers on two occasions after spinning on track during the session. Valtteri Bottas, in ninth, also displayed incredible multitasking as he was seen holding on to his damaged wing mirror while driving in the rain.
After finishing first and second in FP2 on Friday, Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team mate George Russell finished in 10th and 15th, respectively, with both drivers struggling to get temperatures into their tyres.
After recovering from his engine failure on his Haas on Friday, Nico Hulkenberg was 11th fastest, ahead of the McLaren pair of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris in 12th and 13th, with the Williams of Alex Albon in 14th.
The previously mentioned Russell came next, ahead of Nyck de Vries in 16th for AlphaTauri, while Sergio Perez was down in a lowly 17th for Red Bull.
Zhou Guanyu was 18th for Alfa Romeo, ahead of the of Esteban Ocon – who continued his recovery from a water pressure issue on his Alpine in FP2 – to finish 19th, with Logan Sargeant down at the bottom of the field.
Join us again at 1600 local time for what is sure to be an exciting qualifying session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.