Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) set the best time in the third free practice session of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, second round of the Formula 1 World Championship, Friday on the Jeddah urban circuit (6.174 km) .

Beaten by the Spanish veteran Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and the Briton George Russell (Mercedes) on Thursday, the three-time world champion set the record straight on Friday afternoon and will approach the qualifications which will be contested in the evening with confidence.

The session was marked by the spectacular accident of the Chinese Guanyu Zhou (Sauber), who lost the rear of his car at full speed, spun and ended up in the protections, greatly damaging his car . A red flag was waved and the session, which resumed four minutes from time, was shortened by 13 minutes.

Before that, Verstappen had already taken control and was no longer worried. He finally beat Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) by two tenths and his Mexican teammate Sergio Pérez by almost half a second.

Russell took fourth place, just ahead of his compatriot Lando Norris (McLaren), while Alonso, less energetic than Thursday, had to settle for sixth place, ahead of his Canadian teammate Lance Stroll.

The Australian Oscar Piastri (McLaren) is in eighth place, ahead of the seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), while the Top 10 is completed by the novice Oliver Bearman, who replaced the Spaniard Carlos Sainz, victim of appendicitis, in the seat of the second Ferrari single-seater.

The 18-year-old Briton, who was taking part in the third test session of his F1 career, the first with Ferrari after the two carried out last year at the wheel of a Haas, was not impressed.

The Scuderia reserve driver, entered in the F2 championship this season, should compete in the first Grand Prix of his career in the premier category on Saturday in Jeddah and become the third youngest competitor in history to drive in F1.

. 3rd free practice session:

Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1:28.412

Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:28.608

Sergio Pérez (MEX/Red Bull) 1:28.906

George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 1:28.964

Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:28.971

Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:29.038

Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:29.127

Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:29.213

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:29.268

Oliver Bearman (GBR/Ferrari) 1:29.306

Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) 1:29.485

Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:29.546

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/Racing Bulls-Red Bull) 1:29.572

Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:29.575

Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1:29.675

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Racing Bulls-Red Bull) 1:29.740

Alexander Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:29.808

Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Sauber-Ferrari) 1:30.083

Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Sauber-Ferrari) 1:30.739

Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams-Mercedes) 0.000