FP3: Leclerc leads as Ferrari move ahead at Silverstone
Ferrari hit back in the Saturday’s final practice for the British Grand Prix, taking a 1-2 led by Charles Leclerc with Sebastian Vettel following very close behind, as the Scuderia threatened to rain on Mercedes’ parade ahead of qualifying.
Leclerc’s efforts at a flying lap with 10 minutes remaining were hampered by traffic, but the Monegasque driver finally put together a lap of 1m 25.905s to top the session. Vettel followed, ending up just 0.026s off his team mate on the same tyre.
Lewis Hamilton showed signs of improvement, just 0.049s off Leclerc’s time at the end – but he said of his Mercedes: “the car’s not got a lot more to give” after he set his fastest lap at the end of the 60 minutes.
Fourth-place Pierre Gasly again beat team mate Max Verstappen as the Red Bulls split the Mercedes, FP2 leader Valtteri Bottas ending up half a second off the pace in sixth, just 0.019s behind Verstappen.
FORMULA 1 ROLEX BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2019
Great Britain 2019
Practice 3 results
|1 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari||1:25.905|
|2 Sebastian Vettel VET Ferrari||+0.026s|
|3 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes||+0.049s|
|4 Pierre Gasly GAS Red Bull Racing||+0.213s|
|5 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||+0.535s|
Clouds loomed and a flurry of light rain made for a fragmented first half of FP3, teams retreating for a short stint on intermediates before they emerged on slicks for the last 30 minutes of the session. As a result, it was that second half of the hour-long session when teams showed their true colours.
Lando Norris was the best of the rest again, seventh for McLaren in FP2 and two-tenths behind Bottas. He spent most of that second half of FP3 on medium tyres, switching to softs late on for his fastest lap.
The Renaults followed, Nico Hulkenberg just 0.020s ahead of ninth-place Daniel Ricciardo, while Alexander Albon had another strong session as he rounded out the top 10 for Toro Rosso.
Again, the midfield was close and hinted at an enticing qualifying battle, eighth-place Hulkenberg only 0.330s ahead of 15th-place Kevin Magnussen in the Haas.
Williams rounded out the standings, more than three seconds off the pace, but it was the Racing Point pair that struggled as they ended up 17th and 18th, Lance Stroll ahead of Sergio Perez.
The thick clouds didn’t unleash, but they remain ominously overhead as qualifying approaches.