The third Melbourne practice ended surprisingly with a best time for Lando Norris. The McLaren driver referred Leclerc, Perez and Alonso to the other positions. The two Aston Martin drivers sank their cars in the gang.
Anyone who thought that things couldn't get any worse for Sebastian Vettel after the corona disease and the engine problem from the day before was disappointed on Saturday (April 9). Only 20 minutes after the start of the third training session, the Heppenheimer, who was equipped with a fresh engine package, threw his company car into the gang in turn 10.
The mechanics now have to hurry up with the repairs if Vettel still wants to take part in qualifying. Unfortunately, shortly before the end of the session, team-mate Lance Stroll, who also hit the tire barriers one corner later than Vettel, was also hit. The front wing and left front wheel of both cars snapped off.
McLaren signs of life
Red flags were waved in both incidents, shortening the session by a total of 16 minutes. In the end, Lando Norris surprisingly found himself at the top of the timetable. McLaren had already shown an upward trend on Friday, but no one believed the struggling traditional team could set a best time. Even if Norris was certainly on the road with very little petrol.
World Championship leader Charles Leclerc had to settle for second place, just under a second and a half behind. The Ferrari still bounced a lot, but that didn't seem to hurt the car's pace. Carlos Sainz in the sister car lined up in fifth position.
Problems with Mercedes and Haas
Between the two red racers, Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso secured third and fourth place. Max Verstappen, on the other hand, didn't do very well and only finished seventh. The Dutchman simply couldn't get a feeling for his racing car and even spun briefly through the meadow in the penultimate corner. He had to break off his qualifying simulation with soft tires twice after making small mistakes.
From Mercedes there was only a small sign of life for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in eighth and eleventh place. The Silver Arrow continues to be extremely bitchy. Haas is also still struggling with pace. Mick Schumacher in 14th place was well away from the points. Kevin Magnussen, who is fit again after his stomach upset the day before, even ended up in 17th place.