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Sergio Perez

Perez leads Leclerc in final practice as Verstappen spins

Sergio Perez set the pace in final practice at the Miami International Autodrome, with Red Bull and Ferrari continuing their head-to-head battle.

Perez Miami
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Sergio Perez and Red Bull topped the timesheets during Saturday's third and final practice session for the Miami Grand Prix.

Perez worked his way down to a time of 1:30.304 during the late runs on Soft tyres to finish two-tenths clear of Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc.

Max Verstappen was set to go quickest in the other Red Bull but suffered a half-spin at Turn 14 during his final attempt and narrowly avoided a visit to the barriers.

Fernando Alonso was the 'best of the rest' for Alpine, followed by Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel and Haas driver Mick Schumacher.

Carlos Sainz gradually rebuilt confidence in his Ferrari en route to seventh, having crashed out of Friday's second session, with Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Alex Albon (Williams) and Lando Norris (McLaren) completing the top 10.

Result Free practice 3 - Miami

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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What happened to Mercedes after their strong start?

Mercedes caught the eye on Friday as their updated W13 set the pace in the hands of George Russell, with Lewis Hamilton not far behind in fourth.

However, amid similarly warm air and track temperatures, the pair tumbled down the order in FP3, finishing well outside the top 10 positions.

Hamilton wound up 15th, one-and-a-half seconds off the pace set by Perez and Red Bull, having locked up heavily into Turn 14 on one of his push laps.

Russell, meanwhile, was a tenth further back in 17th, having complained over the radio that his tyres were "nowhere".

Another red flag disrupts practice proceedings

After red flags in FP1 and FP2, the trend continued in FP3 as Esteban Ocon crashed heavily early on.

Ocon lost control of his Alpine heading into Turn 14 - the same spot that Sainz hit trouble on Friday - and slammed sideways into the wall, prompting a precautionary trip to the Medical Centre.

Alpine mechanics will now be in a race against time to repair the Frenchman's A522 for qualifying, which begins at 16:00 local time (21:00 BST).

The knock-on effect of Ocon's crash meant his fellow drivers were stuck in their garages for the best part of 15 minutes, with a flurry of activity following as the track went green again.

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