Verstappen quickest by four tenths from Leclerc in final Miami practice · RaceFans

Max Verstappen set the pace in the final practice session for the Miami Grand Prix, four tenths of a second quicker than Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari.

The championship leader set a new fastest time of the weekend so far to set the pace in the final hour of practice, while Leclerc was the only other driver to break under the 1’28 barrier. Sergio Perez was third-fastest in the second Red Bull.

The final hour of practice ahead of qualifying began with clouds hanging over Hard Rock Stadium with track temperatures just south of 30C for the third consecutive session. Esteban Ocon was the first driver to take to the circuit and he duly set the first lap time of the day with a 1’31.125 on the medium compound tyres.

There was not a great rush onto the circuit with many of the field content to remain in the garage and allow their rivals to rubber up the track on their behalf. Red Bull took to the track on soft tyres, with Perez going quickest of all. He was soon eclipsed by team mate Verstappen, who posted a 1’27.969 – almost matching his best overall time from Friday.

After complaining of low grip available from the circuit on Friday, drivers continued to find grip was at a premium on Saturday. Nico Hulkenberg, who crashed at turn three in the opening practice session, ran off the circuit at turns six, seven and eight, while Fernando Alonso had a brief off at the tight turn 17 hairpin in the Aston Martin.

Verstappen improved his best time to produce a new overall best lap of the weekend, setting a 1’27.535. Carlos Sainz Jnr also improved to move into second place in the times, but almost six tenths of a second behind the world champion. Perez was third-fastest in the second Red Bull, while the two Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly sat in fourth and fifth.

In the later minutes of the session, Perez briefly jumped up to second behind his team mate, but was still have a second behind Verstappen’s best. Then Leclerc put his Ferrari in between the two Red Bulls with a lap a tenth of a second faster than Perez but still four tenths behind Verstappen’s fastest time. Verstappen returned to the track in the final few minutes, but only to carry out a practice start, rather than try and improve his own best time, Red Bull ensuring he reached the arrived at the start/finish line seconds before the chequered flag appeared.

Verstappen ended the final session comfortably quickest, followed by Leclerc second and Perez third in the second Red Bull. Sainz was fourth fastest in the Ferrari ahead of the two Alpines of Ocon and Gasly. Valtteri Bottas was seventh in the Alfa Romeo ahead of Hulkenberg in eighth and Alexander Albon in ninth. George Russell completed the top ten for Mercedes.

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2023 Miami Grand Prix third practice result

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Combined session times

Position Number Driver Team FP1 time FP2 time FP3 time Gap Laps
1 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1’30.549 1’27.930 1’27.535 1
2 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1’30.449 1’28.398 1’27.941 0.406 3
3 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1’31.566 1’28.419 1’28.050 0.515 4
4 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari 1’30.724 1’28.315 1’28.125 0.590 2
5 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1’31.542 1’28.937 1’28.407 0.872 9
6 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault 1’31.104 1’29.098 1’28.428 0.893 11
7 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’31.902 1’29.189 1’28.456 0.921 14
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas-Ferrari 1’31.392 1’29.393 1’28.497 0.962 17
9 23 Alexander Albon Williams-Mercedes 1’31.903 1’29.046 1’28.561 1.026 10
10 63 George Russell Mercedes 1’30.125 1’29.216 1’28.606 1.071 15
11 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’31.853 1’29.171 1’28.607 1.072 12
12 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 1’31.231 1’28.660 1’28.618 1.083 5
13 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’30.337 1’28.858 1’28.718 1.183 7
14 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1’31.337 1’28.930 1’28.723 1.188 8
15 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1’31.997 1’28.741 1’29.401 1.206 6
16 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’32.134 1’29.181 1’29.074 1.539 13
17 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1’32.169 1’29.613 1’29.179 1.644 18
18 2 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes 1’32.619 1’30.038 1’29.264 1.729 20
19 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 1’31.810 1’29.339 1’29.375 1.804 16
20 21 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri-Red Bull 1’34.637 1’29.928 1’29.447 1.912 19

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2023 Miami Grand Prix

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