STREETS OF LAS VEGAS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - NOVEMBER 17: George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14 during the Las Vegas GP at Streets of Las Vegas on Friday November 17, 2023, United States of America. (Photo by Zak Mauger / LAT Images)

FP3 is a Success as Russell Tops the Table in Las Vegas

November 18, 2023
Formula 1
by Ramon Jones

FP3 was a success in Las Vegas with all of the driver able to set times. The session was red flagged in the closed minutes as Alex Albon (Williams) made contact with the wall and stripped the tire off of his rear left wheel. Albon was able to nurse the car back to the pits. Albon got on the brakes too deep which sacrificed his exit line and he ran out of room to straighten out the car; resulting in the collision.

George Russell (Mercedes) topped the table for the first time this weekend. Russell got a nice slipstream on his final flying lap which allowed him to pull ahead of Oscar Piastri (McLaren) who finished P2 by 4 tenths of a second. In surprising fashion Logan Sargeant in the Williams ran third fastest; a half a second off of the fastest lap. If this result is any indication of his qualifying pace it might be Sargeant’s best qualifying weekend of the season. Qualifying is three hours away so we will see if Sargeant can keep up the pace when everything is on the line.

Verstappen and Perez Miss Out Due to Traffic

Both Max Verstappen and Perez set fastest Sector 1 and 2 times but as they both headed into sector 3 there was an incident where Daniel Ricciardo had run off of the track and Max Verstappen had to abort into the safety lane. He wouldn’t get a chance to set another lap due to the timing of the red flag. Perez was also on a flyer, but also had to abort his lap after catching a bit of bad air rattling the stability of his car in middle of sector 2.

Every single car on the track ran soft tires in the closing minutes of FP3. Given the track temperatures at night in Las Vegas it was safe to say that no one would be on the hard tire this weekend in FP3. The track was at 64 degrees Fahrenheit during FP3 and that temperature is expected to drop come qualifying time which starts at midnight local time.

In the battle for second place in the championship Perez finished one tenth faster than Hamilton who struggled early in the session opting for the mediums, but soon cut tenths off his lap times as he switched to the soft tires. Qualifying for Hamilton will be extremely important because Perez can clinch second place in the championship this weekend. If Perez holds a 26 or more point lead after the Las Vegas Grand Prix, Hamilton will not be able to mathematically catch Perez.

Qualifying will take place at midnight local time.

Full FP3 Results are Below

POSDRIVERCARTIMEGAPLAPS
1George RussellMERCEDES1:34.09323
2Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:34.491+0.398s20
3Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:34.645+0.552s17
4Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:34.653+0.560s14
5Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:34.706+0.613s13
6Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:34.726+0.633s14
7Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:34.788+0.695s18
8Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:34.853+0.760s24
9Valtteri BottasALFA ROMEO FERRARI1:34.908+0.815s18
10Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:35.067+0.974s18
11Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:35.089+0.996s17
12Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:35.112+1.019s17
13Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:35.253+1.160s20
14Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:35.297+1.204s15
15Zhou GuanyuALFA ROMEO FERRARI1:35.881+1.788s15
16Charles LeclercFERRARI1:35.908+1.815s22
17Carlos SainzFERRARI1:35.939+1.846s21
18Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT1:36.087+1.994s15
19Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:36.485+2.392s12
20Daniel RicciardoALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT1:37.778+3.685s15