McLaren’s Lando Norris surprises as he tops the time sheets in final practice for the Australian GP with Leclerc and Perez rounding out the prime three and Vettel crashing closely
- Big turnaround in type sees McLaren set the quickest time in final practice
- Lando Norris simply headed the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez third
- Sebastian Vettel was unharmed after smashing into the wall at round 260kmh
Lando Norris has topped the area in final practice for the Australian Grand Prix in a shocking consequence contemplating McLaren’s lack of tempo up to now this season – however a radio message at the finish of the session could possibly be trigger for concern for the staff.
The Briton was advised to ‘please bail’ after setting the benchmark time of 1:19.117, with engineers telling him, ‘Urgent blue B1. Urgent blue B1.’
His teammate, Australian Daniel Ricciardo, got here in sixth, nearly six tenths of a second behind the 22-year-old.
Norris was the class of the area in final practice for the race at Melbourne’s Albert Park, however a regarding radio message at the finish of the session may spell issues for McLaren
The 22-year-old Briton was simply over a tenth of a second quicker than Charles Leclerc, whose Ferrari has been one in every of the benchmark automobiles up to now in 2022
The time represented an enormous leap ahead for McLaren, who struggled badly for tempo in the first two races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was second with a time of 1:19.249, marginally forward of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, with Fernando Alonso’s Alpine sitting fourth, forward of the second Prancing Horse of Carlos Sainz.
Lewis Hamilton may solely handle eighth for Mercedes, together with his teammate George Russell ending eleventh with a time of 1:20.096, nearly a second off Norris’ tempo.
Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel went off observe about 20 minutes into the session, with the Aston Martin driver colliding closely with the wall and bringing out the pink flag.
The Aston Martin driver lost management at flip 10 and careened into the limitations at nearly 260kmh.
Sebastian Vettel smashed his Aston Martin into the wall at near 260kmh about 20 minutes into the session. He was unscathed, however the automobile was a large number – and he missed the second practice session altogether resulting from an influence unit drawback
Mercedes’ George Russell (pictured) advised the staff his automobile was ‘throughout the place’ as he wrestled it round the observe earlier than ending eleventh
He was taken again to the pits on a scooter – however not like his impromptu lap of the observe on Friday, for which he was fined by the stewards, he was doubled again by an official utterly legally.
Hamilton appeared to have issues braking and narrowly prevented hitting the limitations as he skidded by means of the gravel, together with his Mercedes nonetheless proving very tough to drive.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was simply behind Norris in one other robust exhibiting for the Italian staff, whose automobile has seemed very properly planted on the observe. His teammate Carlos Sainz was fifth
Sergio Perez put his Red Bull into third spot, with reigning world champ Max Verstappen down in seventh after spinning close to the entrance to pit lane
Russell advised the staff his automobile was ‘throughout the place’ as he wrestled it round the revamped circuit, which had one in every of its 4 DRS zones eliminated for security causes after suggestions from drivers on Friday evening native time.
Stewards famous a pit exit incident involving reigning world champ Max Verstappen as the area returned to the observe after Vettel’s crash.
The reigning world champ additionally had a spin as he approached the entrance to pit lane as soon as the session was re-started, seemingly after dropping grip at the rear of the automobile, and will solely handle seventh with a time of 1:19.809.
Vettel’s teammate Lance Stroll introduced out the yellow flag proper at the finish of the session when he went into the limitations.