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Verstappen tops third practice in France

Red Bull’s world championship leader Max Verstappen dominated the third free practice for the French Formula One Grand Prix at Le Castellet on Saturday with Lewis Hamilton almost a second adrift.

Verstappen, who leads the seven-time Mercedes world champion by four points after six races, topped the times after Friday’s second session, and led the way again ahead of qualifying at 1300GMT.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas got closest to the dashing Dutchman at 0.747s with Carlos Sainz for Ferrari sitting third at 0.938.

Then came Red Bull’s winner last time out in Azerbaijan, Sergio Perez, followed by Hamilton at 0.966 completing the top five.

After two disastrous races for Mercedes in Monaco and Baku Hamilton is desperate to bounce back at the Circuit Paul Ricard where he has won from pole the last two times the F1 circus pitched up at the Provencal track in 2018 and 2019.

French Grand Prix third practice times:

Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-Honda) 1:31.300 (11 laps), Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes) 1:32.047 (14), Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari) 1:32.195 (17), Sergio Pérez (MEX/Red Bull-Honda) 1:32.238 (15), Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:32.266 (15), Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:32.336 (14), Fernando Alonso (ESP/Alpine-Renault) 1:32.624 (15), Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:32.681 (16), Pierre Gasly (FRA/AlphaTauri-Honda) 1:32.707 (16), Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:32.759 (14), Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:32.820 (15), Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:33.017 (17), Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:33.051 (15), Sebastian Vettel (GER/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:33.200 (18), Kimi Räikkönen (FIN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:33.328 (16), George Russell (GBR/Williams-Mercedes) 1:33.364 (16), Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Honda) 1:33.424 (17), Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams-Mercedes) 1:33.584 (16), Mick Schumacher (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1:34.143 (14), Nikita Mazepin (RUS/Haas-Ferrari) 1:34.642 (13)

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