Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2024

Leclerc leads top three teams covered by a tenth of a second as practice ends

Formula 1

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Charles Leclerc was the quickest driver in final practice for the Australian Grand Prix as one tenth of a second covered the top four drivers.

The Ferrari driver set the pace for the second consecutive session around the Albert Park circuit, just two-hundredths of a second quicker than Max Verstappen

In cooler conditions than Friday, drivers appeared to struggle to get quick times out of the soft tyre compared to the medium compound until the end of the session. Leclerc went quickest as the chequered flag fell.

Carlos Sainz Jnr was third-fastest, setting his best time on the mediums. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was within a tenth of Leclerc by the end of the session in fourth despite complaining about losing a significant amount of time to his rivals down the straights earlier in the session.

George Russell was fifth-fastest ahead of Fernando Alonso in the lead Aston Martin. Sergio Perez was seventh for Red Bull ahead of Oscar Piastri, Lance Stroll and Lando Norris.

The overcast conditions meant that the final hour of practice was cooler than the two on Frida. Crucially, the wind speed was also lower. That appeared to make life easier for drivers than the first day of running as there were far fewer off-track moments during the final hour. Traffic was still a concern, however, with even the Mercedes team mates appearing to get in each others way over the session.

There were no major problems for any of the 19 drivers running, with Logan Sargeant not participating after being withdrawn by his Williams team. Both Red Bull drivers complained that their brakes were not “biting” at the start of the hour, but they appeared satisfied with their braking performance as their runs continued.

After the end of the session, the stewards announced that Sainz would be investigated for allegedly failing to follow the practice start procedure on the grid following the chequered flag.

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2024 Australian Grand Prix third practice result

116Charles LeclercFerrariSF-241’16.71422
21Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda RBPTRB201’16.7340.02028
355Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariSF-241’16.7910.07720
444Lewis HamiltonMercedesW151’16.8060.09220
563George RussellMercedesW151’16.8860.17223
614Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-MercedesAMR241’16.9970.28320
711Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda RBPTRB201’17.0140.30028
881Oscar PiastriMcLaren-MercedesMCL381’17.0870.37319
918Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR241’17.3410.62722
104Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL381’17.4900.77622
1122Yuki TsunodaRB-Honda RBPT011’17.6730.95919
1277Valtteri BottasSauber-FerrariC441’17.7521.03820
1323Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW461’17.7591.04523
1424Zhou GuanyuSauber-FerrariC441’17.8761.16219
1531Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5241’17.9201.20618
1627Nico HulkenbergHaas-FerrariVF-241’17.9411.22717
1720Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-241’17.9611.24718
183Daniel RicciardoRB-Honda RBPT011’17.9631.24920
1910Pierre GaslyAlpine-RenaultA5241’18.3901.67619

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Complete practice times

P.#DriverTeamFP1 timeFP2 timeFP3 timeGapLaps
116Charles LeclercFerrari1’18.5991’17.2771’16.71470
21Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda RBPT1’18.5821’17.6581’16.7340.02068
355Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’18.6861’17.7071’16.7910.07768
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’18.7711’18.8341’16.8060.09263
563George RussellMercedes1’18.5971’17.9511’16.8860.17268
614Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-Mercedes1’19.7161’17.9121’16.9970.28367
711Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda RBPT1’18.6421’18.0901’17.0140.30084
881Oscar PiastriMcLaren-Mercedes1’18.9181’18.0771’17.0870.37373
918Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’18.6671’17.8221’17.3410.62777
104Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’18.5641’18.1551’17.4900.77668
1122Yuki TsunodaRB-Honda RBPT1’18.6211’18.1881’17.6730.95972
1277Valtteri BottasSauber-Ferrari1’20.0141’18.5851’17.7521.03873
1323Alexander AlbonWilliams-Mercedes1’19.4431’17.7591.04534
1424Zhou GuanyuSauber-Ferrari1’19.9891’18.4211’17.8761.16274
1531Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’19.5611’18.7051’17.9201.20675
1627Nico HulkenbergHaas-Ferrari1’19.6041’18.7021’17.9411.22766
1720Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’19.4891’19.2751’17.9611.24770
183Daniel RicciardoRB-Honda RBPT1’19.2741’18.5341’17.9631.24975
1910Pierre GaslyAlpine-Renault1’19.6221’18.6911’18.3901.67677
202Logan SargeantWilliams-Mercedes1’19.5191’18.5781.86445

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2024 Australian 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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2 comments on “Leclerc leads top three teams covered by a tenth of a second as practice ends”

  1. I have a doubt. Is Albon using Logan’s engine and components now? Or will it be counted against Albon?

    1. Engine and gearbox were damaged in the crash, so this would have to count as an Albon engine and gearbox change

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