Sergio Pérez led Max Verstappen in what was the final practice session of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season at the Yas Marina Circuit, with multiple drivers having issues with the heat throughout the hour-long session.
Pérez looked strong for the first thirty minutes of the session on the medium compound tyres, and that was until the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team emerged on soft tyres to trade top spot with the Mexican driver. The Oracle Red Bull Racing driver showed come impressive pace on the soft tyre, but Perez was the man to finish ahead of the current world champion by 0.152s with a laptime of 1:24.982s.
Behind the Mercedes’ of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris came in fifth place which highly impressive for the British McLaren F1 Team outfit ahead of both Scuderia Ferrari drivers, with Charles Leclerc voicing his opinion throughout the session. Norris’ team-mate Daniel Ricciardo showed more good pace, finishing in eight places ahead of Sebastian Vettel on his last practice session in Formula 1.
British driver Hamilton is currently under investigation as he failed to slow for a red flag in the final practice session overtaking a Haas car in the process. The red flag was brought out after Pierre Gasly suffered a puncture and Hamilton was seen to pass two cars at turn five whilst the session was suspended.
Williams Racing’s Alex Albon put in a decent performance finishing tenth despite having a near miss with Norris at Turn 8 late into the session. It wasn’t the session that BWT Alpine F1 Team would have wanted with their drivers slightly off the pace down in eleventh and twelfth, which will worry them considering Norris’ pace throughout the weekend.
Haas F1 Team struggled for pace finish seventeenth and eighteenth and Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN failed to continue their pace from yesterday, with the pair of Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou finishing fourteenth and nineteenth respectively.
All of this sets us up nicely for an interesting qualifying and race, with Perez looking strong and determined to finish second and Mercedes yet again being more of a threat to Red Bull than Ferrari, however we could only see one Mercedes challenging after the Hamilton investigation is complete.