Sainz Leads Final Practice for Spanish Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz of Ferrari topped the timesheets in the final practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, edging out McLaren’s Lando Norris and Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc.

Sainz Leads Final Practice for Spanish Grand Prix

In a session that began at 12:30 PM local time, drivers had their last opportunity to fine-tune their setups ahead of the crucial qualifying round. The historical significance of qualifying well at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is clear, with 30 out of the 33 Grands Prix since 1991 being won from the front row.

The session saw the use of all three Pirelli tire compounds, with Mercedes’ George Russell initially setting the pace on soft tires with a time of 1m 13.431s. However, it was Sainz who ultimately clocked the fastest lap with a 1m 13.013s during the final qualifying simulations, narrowly beating Norris by 0.030s and Leclerc by 0.037s.

Defending champion Max Verstappen secured fourth place with a time of 1m 13.087s, ensuring the top five were separated by just a tenth of a second. Russell, who started strong, ended the session in fifth place.

Lewis Hamilton experienced an incident with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll at Turn 5, resulting in minor contact. Hamilton acknowledged the mishap, admitting, “I didn’t see him, my bad.”

Post-session, there was more drama as Leclerc and Norris made contact on their way back to the pits, with Norris expressing concerns about potential damage to his car.

Sergio Perez, carrying a three-place grid penalty, managed to place seventh in his Red Bull, while Alex Albon and Fernando Alonso secured top-10 spots for Williams and Aston Martin, respectively. Oscar Piastri rounded out the top 10, slightly behind his McLaren teammate Norris.

The Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly finished 11th and 12th, followed by Nico Hulkenberg (Haas), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), and Kevin Magnussen (Haas).

Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda, both driving for Red Bull, ended the session in 16th and 18th positions, respectively, with Lance Stroll between them. Zhou Guanyu and Logan Sargeant concluded the session at the bottom of the timesheets.

With the practice session concluded, teams are now analyzing data and preparing for the qualifying session set to begin at 4:00 PM local time.

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