It's a Red Bull display of domination as championship leader Max Verstappen takes the lead of a session for the first time in Saudi Arabia. His teammate Sergio Perez took P3, with the top five completed by both AlphaTauri drivers. Lewis Hamilton settles for P2 after leading every Friday session, and looking faster on hards, differently from the Red Bull boys.
The final top ten features both Ferrari drivers ahead of Ocon and Norris to complete.
The first drivers out on track were Mazepin and Schumacher from Haas and Raikkonen, who signed a 1:31.378 as his first track time. The track temperature was of 35°C.
Take your positions! 🪑 pic.twitter.com/uqv516nugK— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) December 4, 2021
Ten minutes in the session, the Mercedes driver exited the pit lane on hards. Bottas improved the best lap time of Raikkonen by 0.228s, while Hamilton slotted in P5. The Ferrari drivers were next out on track, with Leclerc not suffering from major issues after his practice crash and able to take part normally in today's sessions, while Sainz jumped immediately in P3.
Fifteen minutes in the session, it's Lewis Hamilton in the lead once again after yesterday's sessions, signing a 1:29.605, as Verstappen goes out on track. A yellow flag was shortly brought out when the Mercedes driver suffered from blockage at Turn 1.
Perez went briefly on top with a 1:29.511, but was replaced shortly after by both Mercedes drivers, as last out was Ricciardo on softs.
At the half hour mark it's Hamilton -Vertappen in the top two positions. The Red Bull driver on softs has a 0.335 gap to the Brit on hards, while the last top three position was taken by an impressive Pierre Gasly, always in the top four so far at Yeddah. Fourth and fifth places are as well taken by drivers from the Red Bull universe, Perez and Tsunoda, with the latter improving a lot from his P15 in the first session of the GP.
Verstappen took P1 with his final lap on the softs in 1:28.212, while Bottas improved to P6 after switching for softs. The top ten is completed by both McLaren and Ferrari drivers, Sainz in P7 and Leclerc in P10 sandwiching their rivals for P3 in the constructors'standings.
Leaning into the Turn 13 hairpin 📐 pic.twitter.com/KiGYAEukKE— Red Bull Racing Honda (@redbullracing) December 4, 2021
Aston Martin's Lance Stroll suffered from a puncture and was forced to pit with twenty minutes to go in the session. Mazepin went slightly off track while he was doing a qualifying lap simulation and found Hamilton in his out lap going with a significantly slower pace, forcing the Russian to cut the corner in order to avoid contact.
Ten minutes to go, Verstappen improved again his lap time in the first flying lap on the new tyres signing a 1:28.105, while Tsunoda went third fastest as both AlphaTauri drivers keep showing an impressive single lap pace, shortly after replaced by Perez on softs. Ocon also makes an appeareance in the top ten with a 1:29.177, slotting in P9 ahead of Norris, while Verstappen cut some more hundreds of second off his best time.