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RECAP: Perez tops FP3 standings at COTA

AUSTIN, TEXAS – OCTOBER 22: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 22, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool.

Sergio Perez continues his impressive performance as he is the quickest driver in the final free practice of the United States GP.

The qualifying day at the Circuit of the Americas started with FP3, which was very crucial for the teams and drivers.

Sebastian Vettel was the first driver that went out on the race track, while everyone else stayed in the garage for a bit more time. After the Aston Martin driver returned to the pits, Fernando Alonso decided to make installation laps. Eventually, he set the first lap time of the day – 1:40.977.

Lewis Hamilton went significantly faster than Alonso and got to the top of the standings. A couple of minutes later, the FP2 winner Sergio Perez beat Hamilton’s lap time. It did not last for long, though, as Hamilton went even quicker.

Red Bull drivers were fast on soft tires as Verstappen and Perez locked out the top two spots in the timesheets with 0.001 seconds between them. At the same time, Valtteri Bottas spun and damaged his soft compound. George Russell was also caught out by the challenging nature of the track and spun in turn 5.

Verstappen improved his result as he went three-tenths of a second quicker than before. With just 20 minutes left in the session, Bottas set his first lap time – he was less than a tenth away from Verstappen.

Carlos Sainz set the new fastest lap of the practice, showing Ferrari’s strong form. Their opponents at McLaren were not that far away as Lando Norris got to the top 3. After a short absence, Perez came back to the race track and managed to go quicker than Sainz.

Verstappen had an impressive lap, significantly quicker than Perez’s, but it was deleted due to track limits. Hamilton also was quicker than the Mexican, but he had also violated the track limits.

It meant that Perez’s lap time remained the best in the session. Sainz was second, while Verstappen followed him in third.

The results of the Formula 1 United States GP FP3:

1Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing1:34.701
2Carlos SainzFerrari+0.104
3Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing+0.211
4Lando NorrisMcLaren+0.244
5Valtteri BottasMercedes+0.287
6Lewis HamiltonMercedes+0.518
7Daniel RicciardoMcLaren+0.644
8Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+0.697
9Charles LeclercFerrari+0.987
10Esteban OconAlpine+1.010
11Sebastian VettelAston Martin+1.150
12George RussellWilliams+1.322
13Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo Racing+1.361
14Nicholas LatifiWilliams+1.417
15Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing+1.551
16Lance StrollAston Martin+1.691
17Fernando AlonsoAlpine+1.789
18Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri+1.871
19Mick SchumacherHaas+1.970
20Nikita MazepinHaas+28.775
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