Charles Leclerc takes clean sweep of practice sessions ahead of Spanish GP qualifying

Charles Leclerc made it three from three in terms of topping practice sessions on Saturday afternoon in Barcelona, as he looks to hit back at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Leclerc has seen Max Verstappen erode some of his championship advantage in recent weeks, with the Dutchman taking victory at the Sprint in Imola, the Grand Prix at the same venue, and the Grand Prix in Miami as well.

Indeed, momentum is very much with the Red Bull man at the moment but Leclerc is looking strong this weekend so far, even if it is only in practice.

The Ferrari driver has now topped all three practice sessions and will be looking to maintain that theme when it starts to count this afternoon, with qualifying taking place at 4pm local time (3pm UK.)

Behind him in FP3 was Verstappen, with the Dutchman able to get ahead of the two Mercedes cars of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

The Silver Arrows will be pleased they’re seeing their Saturday pace remain as strong as Friday so far, meanwhile, after suffering a big drop off at the Miami GP last time out.

Carlos Sainz completed the top 5 for Ferrari with Sergio Perez going sixth fastest in FP3 – with it starting to look as though we could have three teams battling for pole position later this afternoon at the Circuit de Catalunya.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 21: Charles Leclerc of Monaco driving the (16) Ferrari F1-75 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 21, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The rest of the top ten, meanwhile, saw four different constructors with Lando Norris in 7th, Kevin Magnussen in 8th, Valtteri Bottas in 9th and Esteban Ocon in 10th.

Certainly, the best of the rest battle looks as though it could be just as keenly fought here this weekend as the fight for first, with Mercedes potentially climbing out of the former and into the latter.

For Mick Schumacher and Pierre Gasly, meanwhile, FP3 proved difficult with Schumacher’s brakes setting themselves alight in the very warm conditions whilst Gasly couldn’t get a single time on the board thanks to an issue.

Up next, qualifying.

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