Red Bull maintained its pace advantage in FP3 of F1 Saudi Arabian GP as Max Verstappen led Sergio Perez with Fernando Alonso in third.

In another of a session which didn’t matter as much considering the qualifying and race is run under the floodlights. It was Red Bull heading the pack in a 1-2 finish in FP3 of F1 Saudi Arabian GP where Verstappen (1m28.485s) headed Perez.

After new parts for Perez on Friday, Verstappen took his second gearbox. The Aston Martin pair of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll slotted in third and fourth where the Spaniard was 0.998s behind Verstappen in third which was nearly a second.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton had a better run in fifth from the McLaren pair until the last moment where Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc pipped them to end up sixth. The two nevertheless had a good jump to be seventh and eighth with Lando Norris ahead of Oscar Piastri.

The Brit had a moment with Verstappen towards the end of the session for which the Dutchman apologised on track and the FIA cleared him as well. The two McLaren drivers even jumped Alpine’s Pierre Gasly with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in 10th.

The Spaniard’s late quick lap pushed Mercedes’ George Russell to 11th as Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu had a better show in 12th from Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon didn’t have a good one lap in 14th to be ahead of the Williams pair.

Alexander Albon was 15th from Logan Sargeant, with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen in 17th from Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas as AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda rounded the 19 runners. The Japanese only ran the medium tyres as teammate Nyck de Vries did not run.

The team found a power unit issue ahead of the FP3 session which forced him to sit out. Honda already changed couple of parts on Perez’s car on Friday with now de Vries facing undisclosed issues too.

Here’s what was said on Friday of F1 Saudi Arabian GP