Red Bull’s Sergio Perez put in a very quick lap to finish first in final practice over teammate Max Verstappen, while Carlos Sainz was seven tenths behind Ferrari in the third round.
Clouds covered the spa but mostly untouched by rain on Saturday morning, with plenty of drama in the lead up to FP3. It included Network Penalties To several drivers including FP2 and FP3 captain Verstappen, as well as Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Lando Norris – intrigues continued to emerge regarding the futures of Oscar Piastre and Daniel Ricciardo.
READ MORE: Szafnauer ‘Very Confident’ Piastri’s Contract Ruling Will Fall on Alpine’s Side
Perez’s flag after cracking from 1 m 45.047 s shocked his teammate Verstappen to P2 by 0.137 s, and Sainz slipped to third by 0.777 s.
That left McLaren’s Lando Norris fourth, Fernando Alonso put up a very late flyer to go P5 to Alpine and only a tenth behind his McLaren rival.
George Russell was next on the board for Mercedes as Charles Leclerc hit the barriers and caused a very short red flag by turning through the gravel at Turn 12. The Monaco driver finished sixth overall in FP3 but said, after recovering his car from the gravel: “No I think the car is damaged.”
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing
+ 0.137 seconds
Supreme Authority for Financial Control and Accountability
+ 0.777 seconds
+ 0.918 seconds
+ 1.014 seconds
Sebastian Vettel and Esteban Ocon saw big leaps after squares to eighth and ninth respectively, with the former reporting a possible engine defect in his Aston Martin.
Therefore, Pierre Gasly wrapped up the top ten, ignoring the above in Blanchemont.
Read more: 5 things we learned from Friday’s training at the Belgian Grand Prix
Outgoing McLaren rider Daniel Ricciardo was 11th ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who appeared to have fallen behind on the late flyby attempt, while Nicholas Latifi and Alex Albon finished 13th and 14th respectively for Williams.
Valtteri Bottas in P15 will join the other drivers at the back of the grid on Sunday, with the Alfa Romeo driver taking 10th, ahead of Aston Martin’s 16th driver Lance Stroll and 17th Haas racer Kevin Magnussen.
FP3 Highlights: Belgian Grand Prix
Yuki Tsunoda was behind Magnussen, the Japanese driver in the P18 for AlphaTauri, while Zhou Guanyu finished 19th with Alfa Romeo as he was expecting a penalty in the back.
Mick Schumacher only completed six laps thanks to a sensor issue, and he also has net penalties to deal with after finishing P20 in Haas’ final practice.
Light rain flooded the track towards the end of final practice, and it looks like Perez is the one holding the cards after setting the fastest time – with no net penalties to his name yet.
READ MORE: Horner, Perez and Vettel bring back Ricciardo ‘to ‘find Mojo again’ after McLaren split
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