British Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has laid down a marker by going fastest in final practice at the F1 2019 British GP at Silverstone.
Charles Leclerc has topped the timesheets in final practice at Silverstone. The one hour FP3 session took place under gloomy and grey skies at the Northamptonshire circuit, with rain forecast to fall at some point during the session.
After about twenty minutes, with only a single laptime on the board from Williams’ George Russell, the rain started to fall and the circuit immediately fell virtually silent as the drivers returned to the pits.
While a few drivers, including the two Mercedes drivers, Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Williams’ Russell all tried out the Intermediate tyre for a lap or two, the session hit a lull until the final twenty minutes or so.
With track time now at a premium, it was a relatively frantic last third of the session as the times tumbled quickly. Valtteri Bottas initially seemed to have done enough to go fastest ahead of his teammate Lewis Hamilton but late improvements from the Ferrari drivers moved them to the top.
Charles Leclerc did a 1:25.905 to end the session just 0.026 clear of Sebastian Vettel, but Hamilton finished just 0.049 behind the lead time; the top three thus covered by less than half a tenth.
Pierre Gasly continued his strong weekend by eclipsing Max Verstappen once again – the French driver did a 1:26.118 to finish almost three tenths clear of Verstappen in P4 & P5 respectively. Bottas didn’t improve after his early flying lap and had to settle for P6 and half a second down on the front.
Lando Norris finished P7 for McLaren, with Renault returning to their strong FP1 form by finishing in P8 & P9 with Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo respectively – the Australian running a new chassis as a result of cracking his tub during FP2 yesterday.
Alex Albon rounded out the top ten and was 1.2 seconds from the front in his Toro Rosso.
Antonio Giovinazzi finished P11 for Alfa Romeo, with Carlos Sainz P12 in the second McLaren. He was involved in a strange on track incident towards the end of the session where he and the Haas of Kevin Magnussen seemed to trip over each other – Magnussen eventually accelerated past without any damage to either driver’s car.
Daniil Kvyat was P13 for Toro Rosso, ahead of Romain Grosjean and Magnussen in the two Haas cars. Kimi Raikkonen was P16, with Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez in P17 & P18 for Racing Point. The two Williams drivers George Russell and Robert Kubica rounded out the order with P19 & P20.
Qualifying begins at 2pm local time at Silverstone.