Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2022

Versteppen leads Ferrari pair by three-tenths in dry final practice

2022 Japanese Grand Prix third practice

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Max Verstappen set the pace heading into qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix ahead of both Ferraris in the only dry practice session around Suzuka.

The Red Bull driver posted a fastest time of a 1’30.671, almost three tenths faster than Carlos Sainz Jnr and Charles Leclerc after all three completed qualifying simulation runs on soft tyres in the closing minutes.

After both Friday practice sessions were run in wet conditions, it was little surprise when a large queue formed at the end of the pit lane with drivers keen to make the most of the only hour of dry running they would get ahead of qualifying. Sainz was the first driver to set a flying lap, posting a 1’35.491 for the very first dry lap of the weekend on the soft tyres.

Verstappen’s first lap fresh out of the garage jumped him to the top of the times with a 1’32.050 – also on the softs. That was over a second faster than team mate Sergio Perez, who went second quickest, while the two McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo went third and fourth on their initial laps around the Suzuka circuit.

World champions Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were the only two of the 20 drivers to opt for hard tyres for the early phase of the session as the majority of the field remained out on track to conduct long runs in the limited time they had available. The two Red Bulls returned to the garage for adjustments and by the time they got back out it was an almost empty track as the rest of the field had reached the end of their first long runs.

The track was bone dry but drivers were still having to contend with wind upsetting their cars through the high speed corners. Daniel Ricciardo missed the chicane after locking up under braking and Hamilton also ran deep into the chicane with a locked-up right front wheel. “Very gusty,” he told Peter Bonnington on his radio. “Wind gusts appear to be aligning with some of the snaps that we’re having,” his race engineer noted.

Around half way into the hour, the Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc headed out for low-fuels run on softs. Sainz went fastest of all with a 1’30.965, with Leclerc moving to second, but four tenths behind his team mate. Verstappen then took to the track on medium tyres and improved to jump into second, three-and-a-half tenths off Sainz’s benchmark time.

In the final 10 minutes of the session, Verstappen and the two Ferraris all fitted fresh sets of soft tyres for qualifying simulation runs. Leclerc improved his personal best to go second, just 0.015s slower than his team mate, while Sainz was unable to beat his own best time, despite improving in the first sector. Verstappen was the last of the three to complete his lap and went purple in all three sectors to move into the top spot, almost three tenths faster than the Ferraris.

At the chequered flag, Verstappen was fastest of all, ahead of Sainz and Leclerc, with Fernando Alonso fourth in the Alpine ahead of the second Red Bull of Perez. The two Mercedes of George Russell and Hamilton were sixth and seventh, with Lando Norris eighth – the first driver to be outside of a second of Verstappen’s best time. Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll rounded out the top ten.

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2022 Japanese Grand Prix third practice result

11Max VerstappenRed BullRB181’30.67122
255Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’30.9650.29427
316Charles LeclercFerrariF1-751’30.9800.30927
414Fernando AlonsoAlpine-RenaultA5221’31.3200.64920
511Sergio PerezRed BullRB181’31.5140.84325
663George RussellMercedesW131’31.5300.85928
744Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’31.5890.91825
84Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’31.7471.07627
931Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5221’31.7501.07922
1018Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’31.8381.16725
113Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-MercedesMCL361’31.8601.18928
1223Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW441’31.9461.27526
1377Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’31.9711.30024
145Sebastian VettelAston Martin-MercedesAMR221’32.2221.55125
1520Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-221’32.2901.61923
1647Mick SchumacherHaas-FerrariVF-221’32.3661.69524
1722Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’32.3771.70626
1824Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-FerrariC421’32.3851.71424
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-MercedesFW441’32.8682.19726
2010Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red BullAT031’32.8812.21024

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PositionNumberDriverTeamFP1 timeFP2 timeFP3 timeGapLaps
11Max VerstappenRed Bull1’43.3621’42.7861’30.67150
255Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’42.5631’43.2041’30.9650.29465
316Charles LeclercFerrari1’42.6341’44.7091’30.9800.30953
414Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’42.2481’43.5331’31.3200.64941
511Sergio PerezRed Bull1’44.2341’42.8341’31.5140.84355
663George RussellMercedes1’46.1031’41.9351’31.5300.85955
744Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’44.5581’42.1701’31.5890.91853
84Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’43.8891’45.8851’31.7471.07645
931Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’43.0221’43.8841’31.7501.07940
1018Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’44.5701’46.7761’31.8381.16756
113Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’44.4861’46.0301’31.8601.18945
1223Alexander AlbonWilliams-Mercedes1’44.7911’45.0391’31.9461.27550
1377Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’43.9691’43.7331’31.9711.30057
145Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’48.0901’45.2611’32.2221.55156
1520Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’43.2581’43.1871’32.2901.61955
1647Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’43.761No time1’32.3661.69537
1722Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Red Bull1’46.1921’45.2571’32.3771.70668
1824Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’44.4291’44.5251’32.3851.71456
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’45.4241’44.9621’32.8682.19753
2010Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Red Bull1’44.8781’47.1091’32.8812.21049

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2022 Japanese Grand Prix

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Author information

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 “Versteppen leads Ferrari pair by three-tenths in dry final practice”

  1. I’m glad yesterday was really wet, because this being the only meaningful practice session made it worth watching. Cars were out for the whole session, teams were running different programs, all tyre compounds were used, times fell throughout and it wasn’t particularly boring like practice usually is – mainly because there’s too much of it.

    Think of how much more interesting yesterday would have been if there had been a qualifying session or race.

  2. Versteppen as good as Verstappen?

    1. Coventry Climax
      8th October 2022, 12:43

      Probably written by Will Weed, not Will Wood….

      1. Will Wood wouldn’t, would he?

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