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Miami Grand Prix 2023

Verstappen blistering pace throws down qualifying gauntlet

Red Bull driver Verstappen is firmly the driver to beat after dominating final practice for the Miami Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen delivered a message of intent to his rivals with a stunning lap in final practice for the Miami Grand Prix.

The two-time World Champion set a benchmark lap time of 1:27.535 to finish 0.406secs ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who recovered from his Friday crash.

But Verstappen and Red Bull continued to monitor an apparent issue with his helmet, HANS device and headrest after similar problems during Friday's running.

Sergio Perez rounded out practice in third, 0.658s down on his teammate to follow the narrative from the opening two sessions but ahead of the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.

Alpine impressed with Esteban Ocon ahead of Pierre Gasly in fifth and sixth whilst Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas ended the hour in seventh. Fuel load alterations will likely change the outlook when qualifying commences, however.

Nico Hulkenberg was also on a recovery mission after crashing on Friday and finished eight, within a second of Verstappen's best effort to provide optimism of Haas points on home soil, finishing faster than the Williams of Alex Albon.

The German almost copied Leclerc's Turn 6-7-8 incident from the day before and was fortunate to escape unscathed when losing his rear-end at the triple-apex left-hander.

Mercedes struggled throughout the hour of running, with George Russell complaining of "hopping" through Turn 2 and further issues with front-end vibrations at high speed. The Briton completed the top 10, whilst teammate Lewis Hamilton could muster only 13th and was left to ponder a lack of straight-line pace.

Aston Martin also failed to show its hand, with Fernando Alonso 12th and Lance Stroll 14th, whilst McLaren's Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris ended 18th and 19th.

To view the full results from the final practice session, click here.

Result Free practice 3 - Miami

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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F1 2023 Miami Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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