George Russell tops red flagged final practice ahead of Las Vegas GP qualifying

The session was red flagged with just four minutes left on track and a number of drivers unable to get a shot at a final flying lap.


George Russell topped the timing charts for Mercedes in third practice at the Las Vegas GP ahead of qualifying with a time of 1:34.093.

The session was red flagged and not resumed with four minutes left on the clock after Alex Albon hit the barriers, causing significant damage to his Williams and sending his left rear tyre rolling down The Strip.

Oscar Piastri was second for McLaren, around three tenths behind Russell, with Logan Sargeant third for Williams in the truncated session, with a number of teams, notably Ferrari, unable to get a shot at a final flying lap on the evolving track.

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez were fourth and fifth for Red Bull, ahead of Albon and the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso in seventh.

Lewis Hamilton was eighth for Mercedes, with Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen rounding out the top 10.

Drain drama

Thankfully for the fans in attendance – and the race organisers – there was no repeat of the drain incident which saw FP1 cancelled entirely after just eight minutes of running.

That was after Carlos Sainz was thrown into the air after going over a loose drain cover which careened into the underside of his Ferrari, causing substantial damage to the floor which needed replacing.

The incident meant that the session was immediately red flagged and not resumed as the entire track was checked for similar defects, with second practice delayed until 2:30am local time and the fans forced to vacate the stands.

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