Norris quickest in final practice as both Aston Martin drivers crash

2022 Australian Grand Prix third practice

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Lando Norris was the fastest driver in final practice for the Australian Grand Prix in which both Aston Martin drivers crashed out of the session.

Norris’s best time of a 1’19.117 was enough to see him end the session quickest of all, one tenth ahead of Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari.

Sebastian Vettel crashed after losing control of his car through the high-speed chicane of turns nine and 10, before Lance Stroll compounded Aston Martin’s problems by crashing at turn 11 at the end of the session.

Minutes before final practice was due to begin, FIA race director Niels Wittich informed teams that the fourth DRS zone added for the Australian Grand Prix along the back straight would be deactivated for the rest of the weekend. That may have explained why teams were not quick to take to the circuit in the early minutes of the session as they adjusted their set-ups to suit.

Red Bull were the first to set representative times on the medium tyres, with Sergio Perez just hundredths of a second faster than team mate Max Verstappen. Ferrari then took to the track on soft tyres, with Carlos Sainz Jnr setting the quickest lap time ahead of Leclerc.

Lewis Hamilton had a lucky escape at turn 11, running off the track under braking for the tight right-hander and onto the gravel, brushing against the tyre barrier. Thankfully for Mercedes, Hamilton continued without suffering significant damage to his car.

The same could not be said for Vettel, however, who crashed heavily on the exit of the fast chicane of turns nine and 10. The Aston Martin driver, who was unable to take part in yesterday’s second practice session due to a power unit failure, lost control on his fifth lap of the day in the right-hand kink, causing major damage to his AMR22 and bringing out the red flags.

When the session resumed, Fernando Alonso put Alpine to the top of the times on the soft tyre. Perez went quickest, before Alonso improved to go quicker still. Max Verstappen took to the track on the mediums, but appeared to be struggling with the balance of his Red Bull, most clearly when he spun at the turn 13 hairpin at the end of a push lap.

George Russell had a trip through the gravel at turn three, but managed to avoid the barriers. Lando Norris then suddenly jumped to the top of times in the McLaren with a 1’19.117 on the softs.

With under five minutes left of the session, practice was stopped for a second time for a second crash involving an Aston Martin as Stroll had hit the barriers at turn 11, causing major damage to the front of his car. With so little time remaining, the session was not resumed, leaving Norris as the fastest driver in the final practice session.

Leclerc was second fastest in the Ferrari, ahead of Perez in the Red Bull. Alonso was fourth fastest for Alpine ahead of Sainz in fifth, with Daniel Ricciardo sixth, half a second slower than his team mate. Verstappen ended the session seventh fastest, ahead of Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Yuki Tsunoda.

2022 Australian Grand Prix third practice result

14Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’19.11712
216Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’19.2490.27115
311Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’19.2650.28717
414Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’19.2750.29715
555Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’19.4190.44117
63Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’19.6930.71514
71Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’19.8090.83116
844Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’19.8960.91813
977Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’20.0081.03017
1022Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’20.0711.09312
1163George RussellMercedesW131’20.0961.11816
1210Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’20.1331.15514
1331Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’20.2051.22714
1447Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’20.6921.71417
1524Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’20.8361.85816
1623Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW441’20.9581.98016
1720Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’21.0252.04714
186Nicholas LatifiWilliams-MercedesFW441’21.0502.07214
1918Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’21.6362.65811
205Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR22No time5

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2022 Australian Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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4 comments on “Norris quickest in final practice as both Aston Martin drivers crash”

  1. Well Mclaren did look good in testing… This track seems very setup dependant and also driver must have great feel to get a great lap, the car wont drive you around like on some tracks.

  2. We’ll see how Max does when he hooks up a lap on softs – his fastest was the time on mediums set in the first 3rd of the session, he never got a clean lap in on the softs and then towards the end he couldn’t improve because Lance cut the session short.

    But Perez did seem to be more comfortable the whole session. And I think both Ferraris have some pace still to improve, both got their times in when there was quite a bit of traffic in the last sector. Also curious to see the relatively big gap between Norris and Ricciardo, that might be down to setup, or just the feel for the car/finding traffic in their laps. But Norris lap looked far from perfect on his run. And Hamilton had a lot to improve in his fastest lap as well.

    Overall it is quite an interesting result and hard to really gauge where everyone is. Ferrari does look like they might still be the car to beat overall this weekend though.

    1. He couldn’t improve because he kept dropping the car. The RBR looked like an absolute dog.

  3. Glory runs until proven guilty

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