United States GP: Sergio Perez tops Practice Three as Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton see laps deleted

Last Updated: 23/10/21 8:19pm

Sergio Perez topped the timesheets for an on-form Red Bull in United States GP final practice, as both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton saw their fastest times deleted for track limits ahead of a crucial Austin qualifying session.

Perez. who was also fastest in Practice Two on Friday, carried his quick pace into Saturday and posted his benchmark – a 1:34.701 that beat a similarly spritely Carlos Sainz by a tenth – before Verstappen and Hamilton came charging on their quick laps.

But while both of the championship rivals, whose Red Bull and Mercedes cars appear evenly matched, looked set to comfortably beat Perez, both fell foul of the track limit rules at the Circuit of the Americas.

Verstappen ran wide at Turn 19 before outpacing Perez by three tenths, while Hamilton then beat Perez by two tenths – only to see his time also deleted for a violation at Turn 9.

It means we are no closer to deciphering the pecking order ahead of what looks to be a cracker of a Saturday shootout, although Red Bull certainly seem to have made gains on Mercedes with some overnight setup changes.

A must-watch qualifying is live on Sky Sports F1 at 10pm, with build-up from 8.30pm.

More to follow.

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