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Formula 1 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix 2024

Piastri fastest in Imola FP3 as Perez crash raises qualifying questions

Oscar Piastri topped a twice red-flagged Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Free Practice 3 session at Imola - as Sergio Perez's late incident left questions hanging in the air.

Piastri Imola FP2
To news overview © XPBimages

Oscar Piastri topped a twice red-flagged Free Practice 3 for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, as Sergio Perez's late crash prevented drivers from completing their final flying laps. 

As the field prepared for their final low-fuel qualifying laps, McLaren's Piastri vaulted to the top of the times on a 1:15.529 as Red Bull's Perez started his own low-fuel lap.

However, at Turn 15, Perez caught the inside kerb and was spat into the gravel and barrier with five minutes remaining on the clock, although the session was able to be restarted with two minutes remaining on the clock. 

During this time, multiple near-misses occured including with Charles Leclerc, Pierre Gasly and Piastri as well as a scary moment for Kevin Magnussen involving the RB pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda on the exit of Acque Minerali. 

The likes of Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Leclerc were not able to get a final representative qualifying simulation in, as Norris was the only driver to improve and slot in behind his team-mate for a McLaren one-two, albeit 0.300s down. 

Result Free practice 3 - Emilia Romagna

# Driver Team Time Tyre
Results are being loaded...

After their struggles on Friday, the Red Bull pair of Verstappen and Perez were out uncharacteristically early in FP3, using the medium tyres to trade lap-times with the Ferrari pair of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. 

Leclerc was initially fastest on the soft tyres before Sainz improved his own lap to a 1:16.067, some 0.020s quicker than the Monegasque with Verstappen and Perez slotting in behind after the opening runs. 

A brief red flag was flown at the 35-minute mark for Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso who made a rare mistake and crashed at Turn 18. 

With the wind having changed direction, Alonso lost the car through the second-left of Rivazza and hit the wall broadside, but was released from the medical centre after checks, with the team hopeful of repairing the car for qualifying.

After an eight-minute delay, Piastri was able to set his first representative lap and leap to third place on a 1:16.257, before he went purple through sectors 1 and 2 of the lap, although he ran through the Turn 18 gravel and aborted the attempt. 

Sainz was still top on the 1:16.067 he had set, but Piastri was able to demolish that time as the clock ticked down, setting three purple sectors as he posted a 1:15.529s attempt - with Perez ruining the possibility of the rest of the field to improve.

Already nearly a second down on Piastri's time through Sector 2, the Mexican lost the car at Turn 15 and nerfed the RB20 into the barrier, triggering a second red flag.

The session restarted with two minutes to go, leading to the field jockeying for position, as Norris climbed to second. 

Sainz was third having been aggressively passed by Leclerc on their final out-laps at Tamburello with Russell fifth and Verstappen down in sixth. 

The world champion was not able to complete a soft tyre lap, and so his time was on mediums. 


Hamilton 17th

Alex Albon was seventh for Williams, ahead of Esteban Ocon, Lance Stroll and Nico Hulkenberg rounding out the top 10. 

Daniel Ricciardo took 11th ahead of Perez and Yuki Tsunoda with Valtteri Bottas, Logan Sargeant and Kevin Magnussen slotting in behind.

Lewis Hamilton was a lowly 17th for Mercedes, having been told he was losing 0.8s of a two-second deficit to Sainz early on in a straight line. 

He also complained of ride height problems, but like most of the field, was not able to complete his final lap, with Alonso behind in 18th.

Pierre Gasly and Zhou Guanyu rounded out the order for Alpine and Stake, respectively.

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