Max Verstappen fastest in final practice as Oliver Bearman debuts for Ferrari

Max Verstappen edges Charles Leclerc in final practice at the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen

Reigning F1 world champion Max Verstappen topped the final practice session at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as Oliver Bearman made his Ferrari debut.

Verstappen, who cruised to victory at last weekend’s season-opener in Bahrain, was just 0.196s seconds faster than Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc around the Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez was third-fastest, 0.494 secs slower than Verstappen.

George Russell was fourth-quickest, over half a second adrift, while Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was only ninth.

Lando Norris finished fifth ahead of the Aston Martin duo of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll, and McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri.

Oliver Bearman (GBR) Ferrari SF-24 Reserve Driver. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah,
Oliver Bearman (GBR) Ferrari SF-24 Reserve Driver. Formula 1 World…

British teenager Bearman, who has been drafted in to replace the unwell Carlos Sainz, completed the top-10 with a solid performance in his first F1 outing for Ferrari.

The 18-year-old claimed pole position for the Formula 2 championship feature race in Jeddah on Thursday and will take part in the rest of the weekend while Sainz undergoes surgery for appendicitis.

A heavy crash for Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu at Turn 7 brought out a red flag that disrupted the final 20 minutes of FP3.

Logan Sargeant was anchored to the bottom of the timesheets after he clipped the wall on just his second lap, causing damage to his Williams car which sidelined him for the remainder of the session.

Qualifying for Saturday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix takes place at 5pm UK time. 

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