FP3: Bottas leads Hamilton in final practice at Silverstone as Mercedes show their pace
Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time in free practice on Saturday morning ahead of the British Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton just behind him as Mercedes topped a session for the first time this weekend.
FP3 was a proper ‘time attack’ session as soft tyres were bolted on by the majority of the field, and were temperatures not quite as oppressive as in Friday’s practice runs. It meant the tyres had a little more longevity and drivers were eager to push to find their limit ahead of qualifying later this afternoon.
Bottas set his fastest time with under 15 minutes remaining, his effort of 1m25.873s ominously close to his own 2019 pole position time of 1m25.093s. Hamilton briefly led the session but ended up 0.138s slower than the Finn in P2.
In third place, pushing the limits of his RB16 with aplomb, was Red Bull’s Max Verstappen – 0.300s off the lead – but team mate Alex Albon spent most of the session in the garage with an electrical issue on his car. He emerged at the end to finish 13th quickest overall, on a day when he would have wanted to maximise his running after his heavy crash yesterday cut short his FP2 session.
The Racing Points, who had Lance Stroll top FP2 on Friday afternoon – were relatively anonymous until Stroll made a late push to P4, 0.703s off Bottas, while Sergio Perez's stand-in Nico Hulkenberg was 0.999s off the lead in P9.
P5 went to Carlos Sainz, with his McLaren team mate Lando Norris in P7. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc split the McLarens to round out the top six, 0.898s off the fastest Mercedes.
Leclerc's team mate Sebastian Vettel did not have the ideal start to Saturday, however. The four-time world champion had another difficult morning after sitting out FP1 on Friday before brake pedal problems hit in FP2. And it seemed those brake issues may still be affecting his car as he was forced to settle for P14 ahead of Romain Grosjean.
Daniel Ricciardo was eighth in the session, his Renault team having broken the curfew overnight to replace his chassis after they found a hairline crack in it on Friday night. The Australian's team mate Esteban Ocon was 13th quickest.
Formula 1 Pirelli British Grand Prix 2020
Great Britain 2020
Practice 3 results
|1 Valtteri Bottas BOT Mercedes||1:25.873|
|2 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes||+0.138s|
|3 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||+0.300s|
|4 Lance Stroll STR Racing Point||+0.703s|
|5 Carlos Sainz SAI McLaren||+0.791s|
Williams' George Russell was bumped down to 16th as Grosjean and Albon improved late on, and at the back was his team mate Nicholas Latifi, just behind Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen who was incensed by the presence of slow moving Antonio Giovinazzi on one of his final flying laps.
While temperatures are much cooler at the track today compared to Friday, the clouds are also looming over Silverstone with qualifying set to get underway at 1400 local time. Will we see rain fall in the session this afternoon? Follow live commentary on F1.com and make sure to change your F1 Fantasy team before the deadline at 1400...