Verstappen Paces Alonso in F1 Australian GP Free Practice 3

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On Saturday, after it rained on Friday, most of the track was dry and people were able to practice their high fuel race skills. The sky had some clouds but everything stayed dry until just the morning when it started raining again. Because it rained so much the day before, teams used the good weather to get both their high fuel and qualifying sessions done quickly.

Verstappen started by doing a 1 minute and 19 second lap on medium tires. Then Sainz beat him with a lap that was done in soft tires, but Verstappen managed to reclaim his spot at the top with a faster 1 minute and 18 second lap. After that, Leclerc used soft tires to outdo both of them by completing an even quicker 1 minute and 18 second run.

For the starting of the race, Sergio Perez’s second car had to stay in the garage as his mechanics worked on it. Since Friday was already pretty challenging for him, missing out on track time was more difficult than usual.

After 15 minutes into the race, Fernando Alonso drove a car with soft tires and clocked a 1m18.329s – which was quickly beaten by Carlos Sainz who managed to do a 1m18.127s lap.

Perez was glad that his car got fixed so he could join the session about 20 minutes later. However, he had a really close call due to Nico’s Haas car nearly crashing into him on his first lap.

The race was stopped for a few minutes because of some debris from Nyck De Vries’ AlphaTauri which landed next to the racing line at the fast Turn 9 kink. But after 3 minutes, they kept going until they reached the chequered flag.

The track was getting better which caused lots of people to record fast times in the last 10 minutes before rain started pouring in Turn 1. Alonso got first place with a time of 1m17.727s, but then Verstappen drove even faster and took Alonso’s spot with a 1m17.565s. Esteban Ocon used the great track conditions to take third, 0.373s behind Verstappen and 0.017 seconds ahead of George Russell from Mercedes.

Pierre Gasly was the second race winner, followed by Sergio Perez who damaged his car by braking too hard and going off the track. Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton came seventh and eighth, with Lance Stroll and Zhou in tenth place.

Hulkenberg of Haas finished 11th, Alex Albon and Leclerc of Williams came after him, while local driver Oscar Piastri was at 14th place with his McLaren. Valtteri Bottas from Alfa Romeo was next, followed by Yuki Tsunoda from AlphaTauri. Logan Sargeant from Williams and Kevin Magnussen from Haas were also there. Lastly, De Vries and Lando Norris who only ran 12 laps had the lowest positions as he stopped due to a clutch problem on his McLaren.

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