Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) set the best time in the third and final free practice session of the Mexican Grand Prix, 19th round of 22 of the Formula 1 World Championship, Saturday at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodríguez (4.304 km) in Mexico City. The three-time reigning world champion, who had already been the fastest during the first two sessions on Friday, did it again on Saturday noon under the Mexican sun.
But once again, the gaps to the other competitors were quite small, with the first eleven drivers being within less than a second, which suggests close qualifying. Thus, Verstappen only beat the surprising Thai Alex Albon (Williams), already second in the first session, and his Mexican teammate Sergio Pérez, acclaimed by his tens of thousands of fans, by only 70 and 139 thousandths respectively.
The Briton George Russell (Mercedes), a little behind on Friday, took fourth place ahead of the Australian Oscar Piastri (McLaren) and the astonishing Finn Valtteri Bottas, who had already shown himself to be fast during the second session on Friday at driving his Alfa-Romeo. The Japanese Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) is in a promising seventh place, ahead of the Briton Lando Norris (McLaren) and his Australian teammate at Alpha Tauri Daniel Ricciardo. The seven-time British world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) completes the Top 10, from which the Ferraris are excluded, disappointing with only the 13th and 15th times for the Monegasque Charles Leclerc and the Spaniard Carlos Sainz.
The Aston Martins of the Canadian Lance Stroll (14th) and the Spaniard Fernando Alonso (17th) were again in difficulty, as were the Alpines of the French Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, respectively antepenultimate and last. Qualifying will begin on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. local time (11:00 p.m. French).
3rd free practice session:
Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1:17.887 (19 tours)
Alexander Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:17.957 (19)
Sergio Pérez (MEX/Red Bull) 1:18.026 (19)
George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 1:18.248 (20)
Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:18.392 (22)
Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:18.437 (26)
Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1:18.450 (26)
Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:18.480 (21)
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1:18.499 (15)
Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:18.522 (21)
Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:18.718 (15)
Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:18.917 (21)
Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:18.970 (22)
Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:19.094 (21)
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari) 1:19.293 (23)
Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1:19.320 (18)
Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:19.471 (21)
Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:19.509 (19)
Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) 1:19.573 ( 9)
Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:19.839 (19)