The Mexican ended the session with the quickest legal time having set a 1m34.701s during the qualifying simulation runs as he headed Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari by 0.104s, while Red Bull teammate Verstappen finished 0.211s down in third. 

Verstappen had briefly gone three-tenths clear of Perez at the top of the FP3 timesheets, only to lose his best lap due to exceeding track limits at Turn 19. 

Championship rival Hamilton, who trials Verstappen by six points heading into the weekend, also saw his fastest lap of the session deleted for track limits at Turn 9. 

The Red Bull driver had been under 0.1s quicker than Hamilton’s effort but it was Perez who ultimately stayed on top as he set the pace in practice for the second time this weekend. 

It was not a straightforward final practice session for either of the two title contenders, with Red Bull forced to change the rear wing on Verstappen’s car after discovering a hairline crack, while Hamilton reported rear-end stability trouble. 

With neither Verstappen or Hamilton managing representative times, it is hard to judge which team has the upper hand heading into qualifying. 

McLaren’s Lando Norris was two-and-a-half tenths off Perez’s benchmark in fourth, ahead of the Mercedes pair of Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton in fifth and sixth. 

Daniel Ricciardo ensured both McLarens ended FP3 inside the top 10 as he outpaced Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri, the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc and the Alpine of Esteban Ocon. 

Full results from final practice for the 2021 United States Grand Prix.