George Russell topped the time sheet for Mercedes in the third and final practice at the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix on Friday as excitement builds amid F1’s return to Sin City after nearly 40 years.
The Briton flew around the newly constructed track along the Las Vegas Strip in 1:34.093, followed by McLaren’s young Australian Oscar Piastri and home favorite Logan Sargeant, who still hasn’t secured his seat with Williams for next season.
Red Bull’s triple world champion Max Verstappen took his time before going out and quickly grabbed the lead but ended up fourth on the time sheet.
In another impressive outing, Albon posted the sixth fastest time around the floodlit circuit but may have ended his qualifying hopes later on Friday when he slammed into the wall, sending a rear tyre rolling down the Strip.
George Russell of Mercedes was fastest in the final practice session before qualifying
The Mercedes man Russell edged Oscar Piastri of McLaren with a time of 1:34.093
Carlos Sainz of Ferrari – who drove over the loose drain cover on Thursday – was down in 17th
The final practice ended a few minutes early with Alex Albon clipping the wall, losing a wheel
That brought out the yellow flags and the session to a premature end with about five minutes left to go.
Fernando Alonso was seventh best followed by Mercedes seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton.
A record-extending 18th win of the season for Verstappen in Saturday night’s race would be the 26-year-old Dutchman’s 53rd career victory, equaling the tally of four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel and lifting Verstappen to joint third in the all-time win lists.
Only Hamilton (103) and Michael Schumacher (91) have won more.
Despite Albon’s difficulties, the practice went off without any major incidents in sharp contrast to Thursday’s opening session, which was cancelled after only eight minutes when Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari was wrecked by a loose drain cover.
The drivers returned in the early morning hours on Friday for a 90-minute second practice that did not conclude until 4 a.m and in front of empty grandstands.
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George Russell fastest in final practice at Las Vegas Grand Prix as Mercedes man edges Oscar Piastri and home favorite Logan Sargeant before qualifying in Sin City