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Japanese Grand Prix 2022

Verstappen heads Ferrari duo in third Japanese GP F1 practice

Max Verstappen was quickest in a FP3 at Suzuka with the Ferrari duo slotting in behind the Red Bull.

Verstappen Japan
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Max Verstappen set the pace in third and final practice ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix in dry Formula 1 conditions at Suzuka.

After both Friday sessions were affected by rain, the field was quickly out for the only dry running ahead of Qualifying later this afternoon, with Verstappen immediately setting a 1m:32.050s benchmark on the Soft tyres.

He eventually whittled that down to a 1m:30.671 to secure top spot, about three-tenths clear of Carlos Sainz Jr and Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari machines.

Fernando Alonso was fourth for Alpine, with Sergio Perez, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton slotting in behind.

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In the opening half of the session, there was a big spread in the field, about six seconds between Verstappen in P1 and Mick Schumacher in P20 as drivers focused on the race runs they were unable to complete on Friday as well as Qualifying sims.

Verstappen's initial benchmark stood until the Ferrari duo bolted on a set of Softs and were on low fuel with Sainz pumping in a 1m:30.965 effort to leapfrog to P1, with Leclerc 0.4s behind his teammate.

This had Sainz 0.351s up on Verstappen, who made his own final low fuel run in the final 10 minutes, and promptly returned to P1 on the timing sheets.

The best he could manage was a 1m:30.671s, 0.294s up on the Spanish driver to cement the final practice session on the weekend he could win the World Championship.

Verstappen, Sainz and Leclerc all tried to improve on a second push lap late on, but a mix of traffic and tyres meant that none did.

Alonso continued his good form throughout practice with a late flyer to take fourth, 0.6s down with Perez affected by traffic on his qualifying sim lap.

He was ahead of Russell and Hamilton - who were reported to be 16kph down on Verstappen throughout the speed-trap.

Both Mercedes were closely matched, 0.859s and 0.918s slower than the benchmark.

Norris best of the rest

Lando Norris was eighth for McLaren, as Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll rounded out the top 10 for Alpine and Aston Martin, respectively.

Daniel Ricciardo was just a tenth behind Norris in an encouraging session for the Australian, as Alex Albon impressed for Williams with 12th.

Defending race winner Valtteri Bottas was comfortably ahead of Sebastian Vettel - nearly four tenths slower than teammate Stroll in 14th place.

Good laps for Schumacher

After crashing at the end of FP1, and missing FP2, Mick Schumacher posted 24 laps to end less than a tenth behind Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen in 15th and 16th, respectively.

Home driver Yuki Tsunoda managed 17th, ahead of Zhou Guanyu in the second Alfa Romeo, who was running the new front wing.

Nicholas Latifi was 2.197s slower than Verstappen in 19th, as 2023-Alpine bound Pierre Gasly was 20th and last for AlphaTauri, 2.210s slower than his former teammate.

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F1 2022 Japanese Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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