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FP3: Leclerc leads Russell and Verstappen in close-cut final session at Zandvoort

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Charles Leclerc set the fastest time in final practice for the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix, with George Russell just 0.066s off the Ferrari driver in P2 for Mercedes to leave Max Verstappen third for Red Bull.

Leclerc’s car was shielded by a barricade of Ferrari engineers as they undertook work on the car midway through the session. The team said there was “no issue”, despite the row of mechanics, and Leclerc ended up finishing first overall with a time of 1m 11.632s, set with 14 minutes left.

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

Russell went second for Mercedes by 0.066s while Verstappen, who held the early soft-tyred benchmark, finished third. The Dutchman did emerge much later than the others for his second soft-tyred run and wound up 0.161s off Leclerc's pace.

Carlos Sainz finished fourth, just over a tenth behind Verstappen, while Lewis Hamilton ended up fifth – half a second off the pace to leave Sergio Perez sixth. The Mexican driver emerged earliest to test a new set-up that he remarked was “quite a lot worse” as Red Bull scrambled for a rebuttal after Mercedes took a one-two in FP1 and Ferrari finished one-two in FP2.

Netherlands 2022

Practice 3 results

PositionTeam NameTime
1LEC1:11.632
2RUS+0.066s
3VER+0.161s
4SAI+0.339s
5HAM+0.524s
View Full Results

Alpine’s Fernando Alonso took seventh ahead of Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, while Mick Schumacher turned on the pace in Sector 2 to go ninth for Haas, dropping Lando Norris to P10 for McLaren.

Kevin Magnussen finished five-hundreths off his team mate in P11 for Haas while Lance Stroll was just under three-tenths off Vettel in P12.

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Alex Albon took P13 for Williams, ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon plus the AlphaTauri pair – Pierre Gasly 15th and Yuki Tsunoda 16th.

Behind Ricciardo were the Alfa Romeos, both of whom struggled in FP3. Valtteri Bottas’s soft-tyred runs came very late on and he finished 18th ahead of team mate Zhou Guanyu. Nicholas Latifi rounded out the session in P20.

Qualifying follows at 1500 local time with Ferrari holding the cards. But can Verstappen muster up a second-straight pole position at home?

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