Everything is bigger in Texas and today the crowd has reached over 100,000 plus people with lines outside of Circuit of the Americas of more than five blocks. It’s a bright sunny day with temperature highs and tack temperature is 36 degrees Celsius and96 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to the Texas heat, there were also some challenging wind issues off of the straight in Turn 1 that caused some drivers to spin through tricky s’s sector. Overnight the FIA decided to add Turn 6 track limits in addition to the ones in place for Turn 9 and Turn 19.
Sebastian Vettel was the first one out on track as he tries to gather as much information as he can during the third practice session before qualifying since he will be starting in the back of the grid due to his engine update.
Both Red Bull and Mercedes have only two sets of new medium new tyres left before qualifying so they will have to be cautious throughout the practice session and have a set for qualifying.
Fernando Alonso is first to put in a lap time of 1:40.9 and forty-five minutes in and Lewis Hamilton then sets the fastest time of 1:35.14. The Spaniard will now have to have a new engine for the rest of the weekend since he will have the installation of a fourth power unit. All of the components of the power unit will be new for qualifying and for the race. Therefore, Alonso will be joining Vettel and George Russell at the back of the groid on race day.
Sergio Perez beats Hamilton’s time at 1:35.633. The Brit comes into the pit gets a front wing adjustment then tops the leader board.
Max Verstappen records his first lap of 1:35.207 and beats Hamilton’s time. Checo stays in second behind his teammate with Hamilton in third.
On a flying lap, Bottas then spins out in Turn 6 and then has to come in to get new tyres. Russell also causes a yellow and has a spin in the s’s of the first sector at turn 5.
With eighteen minutes left in the session, Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz puts down an impressive fastest lap of 1:34:805. While teammate Charles Leclerc complained about having rear tye issues trails behind in 9th position.
Twelve minutes to go and the divers strat their qualifying simulations. Hamilton complained about rear grip issues then added some front wing adjustments to add balance to the car and then put down a faster lap ahead of Sainz.
Max Verstappen on a flying lap sets a new fastest time only to have it deleted as he exceeded track limits at Turn 19. The next driver to become a victim of track limits was Lewis Hamilton at Turn 9 who beat Versatppen’s time at 1:34.458.
The session ended with Perez at the top of the leader board with a time of 1:34.701, followed by Sainz with a time of 1:34.805, and then Verstappen at 1:35.219. Hamilton finished 6th because his fastest lap was deleted.