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Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2024

Bearman impresses as Verstappen tops red-flagged FP3

The first red flag of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was required during FP3, after Zhou Guanyu crashed heavily in the first sector.

Verstappen Saudi
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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen started Friday at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on top, after setting the pace in the third practice session.

The three-time World Champion topped the session courtesy of setting a 1:28.412s, which was just under two-tenths of a second quicker than Charles Leclerc in second.

Leclerc found himself in a Red Bull sandwich, as last season's winner at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit Sergio Perez finished FP3 in third.

Perez though, was almost five-tenths behind Verstappen and narrowly ahead of George Russell and Lando Norris who completed the top five.

Result Free practice 3 - Saudi Arabian

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Bearman impresses in red-flagged session

One of the key headlines of the day is Carlos Sainz being ruled out of the remainder of the Saudi Arabian GP, after being diagnosed with appendicitis. Ferrari have replaced him with reserve driver Oliver Bearman.

Bearman had qualified on pole for the F2 feature race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, although he now will not take part in the junior category for the remainder of the weekend. He impressed during his first ever FP3 session and set the 10th quickest time.

His running was reduced though, as the drivers lost 10 minutes of the session following a red flag, after Zhou Guanyu crashed heavily in the first sector with 17 minutes remaining. The medical car was sent to the scene of the crash, due to number the impact that Zhou experienced.

Prior to Zhou's shunt, the session had not been completely clean, as Logan Sargeant clipped a wall and broke his steering. After the incident, he quickly informed the team on the radio: "Yeah... I can't turn right."

Similarly to yesterday, impeding was an issue once again, as Lance Stroll was noted by the stewards for getting in the way of Pierre Gasly. "What is this guy," shouted Gasly on the radio, although the stewards opted against investigating the incident.

Litter was also a problem, as Verstappen hit what appeared to be a plastic bottle.

Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll secured sixth and seventh for Aston Martin, whilst Oscar Piastri, Lewis Hamilton and Bearman completed the top 10.

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