Max Verstappen closed out practice for the United States Grand Prix at the top of the timesheets for Red Bull as Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc was hit by an engine issue that has left his team sweating ahead of qualifying.

After leading FP1 and finishing third in FP2, Verstappen continued his impressive start to the race weekend at the Circuit of The Americas by setting the pace through final practice, edging out Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel by two-tenths of a second.

Verstappen's lap of 1m33.305s was the fastest of the weekend so far, giving him and Red Bull a boost heading into qualifying. Vettel took second after running solo for Ferrari through FP2 following Leclerc's early demise.

Leclerc was forced to park his car up at the side of the track in the final sector after an engine issued emerged, causing him to slow to a halt before white smoke began to emerge from the rear of his car.

While the Ferrari was recovered without the session being red flagged, it cost Leclerc all meaningful running in final practice, as well as leaving the team to sweat on any possible engine changes – and subsequent penalties – required ahead of qualifying later today.

Lando Norris finished an impressive third for McLaren, lapping just half a second slower than Verstappen and beating the Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, who took fourth and fifth after respectively after late improvements.

Alexander Albon took sixth for Red Bull, with Norris' teammate Carlos Sainz slipping into seventh ahead of Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen and Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly. Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10 for Renault.

Qualifying for the United States Grand Prix begins at 8pm GMT on Saturday (3pm CT).

 

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