Red Bull’s Perez beats Ferrari’s Leclerc in 3rd practice

MONACO (AP) — Sergio Perez showed Red Bull has the speed to compete with Ferrari by beating Charles Leclerc in the final practice of the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday.

The third practice is usually not exciting, but fans swarming around the street circuit were treated to a fine duel in bright sunshine.

Perez jostled with Leclerc for the top spot but finally edged out the Ferrari driver in the closing stages by just .041 seconds. Leclerc’s teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr., followed in third ahead of championship leader Max Verstappen for Red Bull.

Mercedes again lacked speed as seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton placed seventh and George Russell was ninth.

Leclerc lost the F1 points lead last week in Spain and he’s never finished an F1 race on his hometown streets.

Defending champion Verstappen has won three consecutive races and leads Leclerc by six points.

Leclerc topped both of Friday’s practice sessions while Mercedes struggled to keep the car from bouncing.

Qualifying was later Saturday.

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