Verstappen was fastest in the final free practice in Austin.
Advantage Max Verstappen: the Red Bull driver, winner last year in Austin (Texas), set the fastest time in the third free practice session of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix on Saturday at the Circuit of the Americas . The double world champion achieved a reference lap in 1:35.825, ahead of the two Ferraris of Monegasque Charles Leclerc (at 320/1000th) and Carlos Sainz Jr (at 446/1000th).
Promising for the Dutchman, before qualifying later this Saturday (5:00 p.m. local, 12:00 a.m. French) and the 19th round of the season on Sunday (start at 2:00 p.m. local, 2:00 p.m. French).
Especially since Leclerc was penalized ten places on the starting grid, the Scuderia having installed new parts on its power unit.
The day before, it was Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) who was penalized five places, after a change of internal combustion engine.
However, the two drivers are in the fight for second place in the drivers’ championship, the Mexican only ahead of the Monegasque, third, by only one point (253/252).
The other main stake in the United States GP concerns the constructors’ title, promised to Red Bull if its two drivers finish ahead of their Ferrari rivals, among other possible scenarios.
A ray of sunshine which would be welcome for the British team, under the sanction of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) for having exceeded the budgetary ceiling imposed last season.