Carlos Sainz heads close FP3 as Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc get into scrapes

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz tops FP3, while Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc had clashes with rival F1 drivers.

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain, Practice
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10,…

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz led a tightly-contested final practice at his home F1 Spanish Grand Prix, outpacing McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Home hero Sainz produced a 1m13.013s on soft tyres to end up just 0.030s faster than former McLaren teammate Norris, while his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc was only 0.037s shy in third.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen also got within a tenth of Sainz’s benchmark in his Red Bull as he ended up 0.074s adrift in fourth.

Next up came the Mercedes pair of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, who were separated by a couple of tenths in fifth and sixth.

Hamilton faces an investigation after he was involved in an accident with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll at Turn 5.

The seven-time world champion admitted he did not see Stroll coming down the inside as the pair made minor contact and bumped into each other at the exit of the corner.

“I didn’t see him, my bad,” Hamilton admitted.

Meanwhile, Stroll said: "This *** guy, he thinks he is alone on track.”

They were not the only drivers to make clash on track in FP3.

Leclerc and Norris also came to blows at Turn 6, with Leclerc tagging the McLaren driver as he went by. Leclerc appeared to swerve across the front of Norris after feeling he had been held up while on a late flying lap.

Norris reported he had picked up damage in the incident: "He just drove into me. I think I have got damage.”

The FIA have confirmed this incident will also be investigated after the session.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was seventh fastest, 0.710s off the pace. Alex Albon put his Williams eighth, ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri. 

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