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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc had been the fastest of the pack in the first two practice sessions at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku on Friday, but Saturday’s opening action saw Red Bull’s Mexican driver Sergio Perez set the quickest lap time at FP3. Both Mercedes cars continued to struggle.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was fastest at free practice three at Baku for the Azerbaijani Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon.

It was the last session for drivers to make tweaks and preparations for the day’s qualifying session to follow, and Sunday’s race proper.

Charles Leclerc, in second behind last season’s champion Max Verstappen in this year’s championship standings, had been fastest in the first two runouts, but it was the Dutchman’s Mexican teammate who set the quickest pace in the third with an effort of 1:43.170 seconds.

The initial start of FP3 was delayed by a huge crash in the Formula 2 Sprint Race beforehand, and it foreshadowed a busy session as Alfa Romeo went off the track to bring up a yellow flag.

Once again Lewis Hamilton struggled, first complaining that: “I have no rear today mate,” before later asking, “Did you turn the engine down?” as the seven-time champion failed to make a success of his time on track.

Elsewhere Verstappen, frustrated as a late flying lap was curtailed after he ran into the path of an Alpine, exclaimed: “Unbelievable man, there is cars everywhere.”

Second place went to Leclerc 0.07s behind, and Verstappen and Carlos Sainz were third and fourth respectively. Mercedes’ George Russell was eighth quickest, and Hamilton 12th.

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