Miami GP: Sergio Perez tops final practice as Mercedes appear to drop back once more

Sergio Perez in miami

Sergio Perez went fastest in the final practice session for the Miami Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon as Mercedes appeared to drop back from their promising showing on Friday afternoon.

The Red Bull cars of Perez and Max Verstappen were in the top two going into the closing stages, with the Dutchman on course to set the fastest lap time before losing control of his RB18 and just about keeping it out of the wall, before Charles Leclerc managed to split the Bulls and go P2.

In 4th, Fernando Alonso showed more good pace whilst Sebastian Vettel sat in P5 ahead of Mick Schumacher in the Haas, with the young German enjoying a really promising session.

The promise of Friday appeared to disappear for Mercedes, though, with George Russell dropping from P1 in FP2 to P17 and Lewis Hamilton only managing the 15th fastest time – though obviously qualifying is where it is really going to count.

Elsewhere, the rest of the top ten saw Carlos Sainz ahead of Kevin Magnussen, Alex Albon and Lando Norris, with Albon showing great pace in his Williams once again as he did on Friday.

Outside the top ten, Yuki Tsunoda went 11th-fastest ahead of Lance Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo and Valtteri Bottas, whilst Pierre Gasly was the man in 16th to sit in between the two Mercedes cars.

The bottom three, meanwhile, saw Guanyu Zhou in 18th, Nicholas Latifi in 19th and Esteban Ocon in 20th, with the Frenchman unable to set a time after a crash earlier in the session that caused a red flag.

Sergio Perez in miami
MIAMI, FLORIDA – MAY 07: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at the Miami International Autodrome on May 07, 2022 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix is up next, then, with it starting at 9pm BST here in the UK and after Mercedes had looked as though they might be in contention for the front few rows, it now looks as though it might once again be Red Bull v Ferrari for pole.

Ultimately, though, only time will tell Stateside.

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