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Canadian Grand Prix 2023

Verstappen fastest in tricky conditions as Sainz crashes out

Max Verstappen provided a fine example of wet weather driving by setting the pace in difficult conditions in the final free practice for the Canadian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen topped the final free practice session before qualifying as drivers adjusted to the wet conditions anticipated for the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix qualifying hour.

The championship leader set the benchmark ahead of a likely wet qualifying hour with a 1:23.106, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc being the only driver to set a lap time within one second of the Red Bull driver.

The sodden Circuit Gilles Villeneuve circuit became suitable for Intermediate Pirelli tyres after around ten minutes of the session, with drivers battling to clear the water against the persistent rainfall.

On the Intermediate tyres, Verstappen whittled away at the fastest times, eventually settling on his benchmark before an intensifying rain shower in the final ten minutes of the session.

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso set the third-fastest time ahead of Haas' Kevin Magnussen and the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, who had the most eventful session of all the drivers.

Sainz triggers red flags

The Ferrari driver had been running towards the top of the timing screens, but brought out the red flags with around 30 minutes of the session remaining after losing control of his car and collecting the barriers.

With the front of the car taking the brunt of the damage, the Ferrari appears to be in a repairable state before the qualifying hour in Montreal.

To make matters worse, Sainz received a summons for "unnecessarily impeding" Williams' Alex Albon at the final chicane.

No other drivers made contact with the wall, with the only other incidents being harmless spins for the likes of Red Bull's Sergio Perez, AlphaTauri duo Nyck de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda.

Pierre Gasly placed his Alpine in P6, ahead of local hero Lance Stroll for Aston Martin, Tsunoda, Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas, and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

The second Mercedes of George Russell finished the session in P15, whilst Perez placed P17.

Result Free practice 3 - Spanish

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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