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United States Grand Prix 2021

Perez tops FP3 as Verstappen and Hamilton lose lap times

Sergio Perez continued where he left off in FP2 by topping Saturday's final practice session for the United States Grand Prix.

Perez USA
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To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Sergio Perez set the pace again during a hot final practice session for the United States Grand Prix, as title rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton lost their best laps to track limits.

Red Bull driver Perez, who led FP2 on Friday, rose to the top of the order with a benchmark time of 1:34.701 on the Soft compound tyre, putting him a tenth clear of Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.

Both Verstappen and Hamilton went quicker in the closing minutes, but exceeded track limits at Turn 19 and Turn 9 respectively, meaning their laps were deleted. If their laps counted, Verstappen would have finished 0.075s up on Hamilton.

Verstappen's effort came after Red Bull mechanics carried out a precautionary rear wing change, with team boss Christian Horner indicating to Sky Sports that the component suffered a suspected hairline crack due to the bumpy track surface.

Verstappen still wound up third, a tenth further adrift of teammate Perez, with McLaren driver Lando Norris continuing his strong start to the weekend in fourth, in front of Mercedes pair Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton.

Bottas, who is bracing himself for another engine-related grid penalty this weekend, lost one of his Soft-tyre runs to a wild spin through the esses, while Hamilton's unrepresentative time came much earlier in the session.

Result Free practice 3 - United States

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Daniel Ricciardo, fresh from driving Dale Earnhardt's 1984 NASCAR stock car, put his McLaren seventh, as AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Alpine's Esteban Ocon rounded out the top 10 positions.

Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel and Williams' George Russell, who will join Bottas in taking grid penalties, ended the session 11th and 12th respectively, with Russell fortunate to avoid a trip to the barriers after also spinning through the esses.

Alfa Romeo drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi sandwiched the other Williams of Nicholas Latifi, followed by the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll and the Alpine of Fernando Alonso.

After enduring a troubled first day of practice, Alonso has taken on a brand new power unit, becoming the fourth driver to be hit with a grid penalty in Austin.

Yuki Tsunoda finished more than a second adrift of AlphaTauri teammate Gasly in 18th position, with Haas pair Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin bringing up the rear.

F1 2021 US Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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