Esteban Ocon, Alpine, Miami International Autodrome, 2022

Perez ends Miami practice on top as Ocon crashes

2022 Miami Grand Prix third practice

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Sergio Perez led the final practice session for the Miami Grand Prix while team mate Max Verstappen suffered a scare when he narrowly missed the barrier with a late spin.

He was in a better position than Esteban Ocon, however, as the Alpine driver crashed early on and failed to set a time.

Verstappen, who missed out on so much running during first and second practice, was eager to get out on track when the session began. The world champion left his garage on medium tyres for an apparent long fuel run.

With many other drivers having missed out on running yesterday due to the red flags in second practice, several joined him, while Charles Leclerc opted for soft tyres instead.

Verstappen set an early fast lap on the mediums, only to be beaten by Leclerc with a 1’31.706 on the soft tyre. Verstappen then reclaimed the top spot, beating Leclerc’s time comfortably – despite remaining on the medium tyre – at 1’31.355.

Gasly’s car was “bouncing like a kangaroo”/caption]Less than a quarter of an hour into the session, Ocon spun backwards into the concrete barriers at turn 14, in an almost identical shunt to that of Carlos Sainz Jnr the previous day. The session was red-flagged and Ocon’s car taken back to the pits with significant damage to its front suspension.

Alpine confirmed their driver was taken to the medical centre for checks but cleared to return to his team. It remains to be seen if his A522 will be repaired in time for him to participate in qualifying.

The session restarted with 33 minutes remaining and a line of cars keen to get back out on track. The soft tyre runs began in earnest in the final 20 minutes of the session but no driver was initially able to best Verstappen’s medium tyre time. Eventually, with 17 minutes to go, Leclerc set a 1’30.981 to beat the Red Bull at last.


[caption id="attachment_478597" align="alignright" width="470"]Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Miami International Autodrome, 2022 Perez set the pace ahead of qualifying

Pierre Gasly was shown the black and white flag for crossing the line at pit exit, after having a lap time cancelled. Later in the session he bemoaned his car’s handling, saying it was “bouncing everywhere like a kangaroo”.

As yesterday, drivers struggled to stay on-line, one clearly-rubbered pathway emerging with the rest of the track treacherously low in grip.

With 10 minutes to go, the Red Bull drivers reclaimed the top times. Verstappen set a 1’30.649 and Perez a 1’30.699 as times began to fall.

McLaren only started their soft tyre runs relatively late in the session, both drivers having gone out on hard tyres for their initial runs. Daniel Ricciardo leapt to fourth-fastest, from the rear-end of the times, on his first fast lap and Lando Norris to sixth. The pair were split by Alexander Albon’s Williams, once again well inside the top ten times.

Perez improved to take the fastest time from his team mate and set a 1’30.304, beating Verstappen by more than three tenths of a second. Trying to beat it, Verstappen went sideways through turn 14, bounced over the inside kerb and came to a rest close to the wall at turn 15. Having spared his mechanics a last-minute repair job before qualifying, he was able to continue back to the pits.

Leclerc split the Red Bull drivers’ times just before the chequered flag, with no other drivers managing to improve into the top three. However Mick Schumacher set an impressive time to take sixth-fastest, Kevin Magnussen coming across the line after him in eighth.

Perez kept his top time, with Fernando Alonso, Vettel, Albon and Norris completing the top ten, without their team mates. Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, who showed promising pace yesterday, placed 15th and 17th respectively after final practice.

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Report to follow

2022 Miami Grand Prix third practice result

111Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’30.30421
216Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’30.4980.56023
31Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’30.6490.71120
414Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’31.0361.09818
55Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’31.0491.11124
647Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’31.0501.11219
755Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’31.1721.23424
820Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’31.2271.28920
923Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW441’31.5011.56314
104Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’31.5941.65618
1122Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’31.6591.72124
1218Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’31.6651.72722
133Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’31.7281.79019
1477Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’31.8851.94726
1544Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’31.8901.95220
1610Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’31.9011.96318
1763George RussellMercedesW131’31.9241.98619
1824Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’32.0512.11316
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-MercedesFW441’32.3762.43816
2031Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA522No time3

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “Perez ends Miami practice on top as Ocon crashes”

  1. Ocon’s off was nearly identical to Sainz’s at the same corner. I don’t rule out more similar offs.

  2. Some of the teams really need to fix the bouncing. Actually, surprised they haven’t fixed it already.

  3. What a strange session! Mercedes at the back of the field, Vettel in the top 5 and quicker than Sainz(!).
    Despite their low-downforce wing Ferrari are still painfully slow on the straights. I hope they can turn up their engine a bit more than RB, otherwise it’s gonna be a walk in the park for Max and Checo.
    Behind the leading pair anything can happen. I wonder why the Mercs were so far off the pace this time. They were 2 sec off their FP2 times! There must be more to it than just the higher temperatures. Very strange.

  4. That Mercedes Front Wing look not Legal. Wonder why F1 chose to show it during the lap. Bendy Flexy Wing lol

  5. Mercedes found the bouncing again? What a turn around. Sad for them.

  6. The times seem correct, the gaps not.

  7. I’ve never ever seen a wing flex so much as it was on that Merc.

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