Piastri on top at Imola as McLaren lead Ferrari in final practice

Oscar Piastri's McLaren topped the times in third and final practice at Imola

Oscar Piastri topped the times ahead of McLaren team-mate Lando Norris in Saturday’s incident-filled third and final practice ahead of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The Australian outpaced the Briton by three-tenths of a second ahead of both Ferraris as two crashes – involving Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez – brought out red flags.

George Russell of Mercedes was fifth ahead of Red Bull’s struggling three-time world champion Max Verstappen, Alex Albon of Williams, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll in the second Aston Martin. Nico Hulkenberg was 10th for Haas.

In a disrupted but dramatic session it was evident that Red Bull were unable to reproduce their normal dominating form, offering the prospect of a straight scrap between the McLaren and Ferrari teams in qualifying later Saturday.

Perez’s late shunt at the Variante Alta led to a late scramble for drivers to set a fast lap time with Norris, upbeat after his maiden win in Miami two weeks ago, showing confidence to produce an improved time.

Verstappen was among those unable to find a quick qualifying-style lap in the final minutes of a confusing session with several drivers involved in entanglements that left many frustrated.

Authored by Afp via Breitbart May 17th 2024