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Max Verstappen

Verstappen strikes back against Ferrari in final French GP practice

Max Verstappen and Red Bull recovered from a low-key first day of practice to top the timesheets during FP3 at the Circuit Paul Ricard.

Verstappen France
To news overview © XPB

Red Bull's Max Verstappen posted the quickest time in final practice for the French Grand Prix, getting the better of both Ferrari drivers.

Amid ongoing hot conditions at the Circuit Paul Ricard, Verstappen produced a best time of 1:32.272 on the Soft compound tyre, putting him comfortably clear of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

After a challenging first day, which he ended half a second adrift of the lead Ferrari, it was a much smoother FP3 session for the reigning World Champion.

Indeed, Verstappen's early benchmark on the Medium tyre kept him in the mix with Sainz and Leclerc even after the Ferrari pair had swapped to Softs.

Verstappen then strengthened his grip on the session when he emerged on the red-marked rubber in the closing stages and went quicker.

As the chequered flag dropped, the Dutchman sat three-tenths ahead of Sainz, with Leclerc three-tenths further back.

Result Free practice 3 - French

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

Mercedes still third behind Red Bull and Ferrari

Following his compromised first day, Sergio Perez continued to struggle relative to teammate Verstappen, finishing a second adrift in fifth place.

That put him between the two Mercedes cars of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, who again found themselves in the 'best of the rest' positions.

Intriguingly, Mercedes appeared to run back-to-back rear wing comparisons in FP3, with Hamilton going for more downforce and Russell for less.

Fernando Alonso put himself and Alpine into the top 10 for the first time this weekend with P7, as the team look to deliver more points on home soil.

Williams driver Alex Albon impressed with the eighth-fastest time, while McLaren's Lando Norris and AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the front half of the field.

There was further encouragement for the heavily-updated Williams package, as Nicholas Latifi backed up teammate Albon in 12th.

Grid penalties to shake up the French GP grid

Daniel Ricciardo slipped outside the top 10 as McLaren continued to evaluate their updates on both cars, with the other AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly 13th.

Alfa Romeo pair Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu were a second-and-a-half off the pace in 14th and 15th respectively, followed by the lead Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

Shortly after the session began, it was confirmed that Magnussen had taken on an array of new power unit elements, resulting in a hefty grid penalty.

He will join Sainz in dropping to the back of the grid for the race, with further engine changes made to the Spaniard's car ahead of qualifying.

Esteban Ocon's quiet weekend on home soil continued in 17th, with the Aston Martins of Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel, and Haas' Mick Schumacher, completing the order.

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F1 2022 French Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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