2022 Japanese Grand Prix FP3 Report and Highlights: Verstappen leads the way from Sainz and Leclerc in Suzuka’s dry final training

Max Verstappen set Red Bull’s rhythm amid a dramatic improvement in weather conditions during final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, beating Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.

After a wet, practice-infused opening day in Suzuka, rain clouds gave way to clearer skies and cool temperatures as the field gathered for some much-needed dry runs in FP3, albeit with some gusts of wind in the air.

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With drivers and teams striving to gather as much data as possible, a variety of short and long runs – using a mixture of Pirelli’s soft, medium and hard rubber – were run during the 60-minute session.

As for quiet efforts, it was Verstappen who took the lead thanks to a late lap time of 1m 30.671sec – and Sainz was laps 0.294sec slower, with Leclerc just 0.015sec behind his teammate.


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Red Bull Racing

1: 30.671


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+ 0.294 seconds



+ 0.309 seconds



+ 0.649 seconds


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Red Bull Racing

+ 0.843 seconds

Fernando Alonso placed fourth in the Alps with an impressive qualifying simulation, ten tenths ahead of Singapore Grand Prix winner Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull.

George Russell led the job for Mercedes in sixth, half a tenth of his teammate Lewis Hamilton, although he was freaked out in the late 11th round because he “almost hit” the slow-moving Pierre Gasly – he declared Alonso replaced at Alpine earlier in the day.

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McLaren driver Lando Norris finished eighth, ahead of Esteban Ocon in Alpine – a constructors’ P4 battle that showed no signs of easing up – as Lance Stroll finished in the top ten for Aston Martin.

As he did in the wet weather on Friday, Daniel Ricciardo spent another moment in the final round on his way to 11th, followed by Williams and Alfa Romeo’s leading machines in Alex Albon and Valtteri Bottas.

After a wet first day in Suzuka, the track surface was completely dry for the final training

Sebastian Vettel finished 14th in the second Aston Martin, with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen slipping from fifth in the FP2 to 15 in dryand his teammate Mick Schumacher made up for lost time after the chassis change caused by the FP1 crash.

Yuki Tsunoda’s home Grand Prix weekend continued quietly to 17th in the AlphaTauri, with Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), Nicholas Latifi (Williams) and Gasly’s other AT03 completing the standings – covering the field by 2.2secs.

FP3 Highlights: 2022 Japanese Grand Prix

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