Sergio Perez topped the final practice session for the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, leading teammate Max Verstappen.
This should a be proper boost for the Mexican entering into qualifying later on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, as he looks to secure the runner up position in this season’s Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship.
Max Verstappen who took his time to head to the track was second fastest behind his teammate, over one tenth slower after a messy lap on Soft tyres.
Lewis Hamilton – under investigation for speeding under the Red Flag – took the third spot in the Mercedes, as Ferrari seemed to be struggling, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finishing FP3 sixth and seventh respectively.
It’s worth noting that conditions in qualifying will be much cooler than FP3, which will make it interesting to see which teams will have properly anticipated the temperature changes in their setup.
Buildup towards FP3
It’s the second day of the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, the finale for this Formula 1 season, and honestly we are missing the buzz of it’s 2021 version.
Despite starting strongly, Mercedes took a back seat in Friday’s second practice, while Ferrari seem to be suffering with tyre degradation on the long runs.
Other than that, F1 announced a new all-female racing category over the course of the weekend, in the form of the F1 Academy, in what could be another route for female racers to reach the pinnacle of motor sport aside from the troubled W Series.
Other than that Daniel Ricciardo is set to go back to Red Bull, albeit in a reserve role as we await to see the fate of Mick Schumacher… A Mercedes reserve role?
Abu Dhabi FP3 Session Highlights
The final practice session started with the Aston Martin drivers taking to the track first, Sebastian Vettel starting his final F1 practice session.
The teams and drivers will keep in mind that conditions for qualifying that will be held almost 30 minutes after sunset in Abu Dhabi, which mean the track will be much cooler than the 45 degrees Celsius registered in FP3.
On his first flying lap with Medium tyres, Charles Leclerc reporting bottoming in his F1-75. He said: “I had… a big moment, well not a big moment, but quite a lot of bottoming into Turn 2.”
Mercedes sent both drivers out on Soft tyres immediately the pair going straight to the top of the time sheets, Lewis Hamilton faster than George Russell.
The ambient temperatures were quite high, as 20 minutes into the session, McLaren’s Lando Norris suffered from overheating brakes.