F1 – Ferrari edge ahead at Silverstone as Leclerc tops final practice ahead of Vettel
Charles Leclerc headed a Ferrari one-two in final practice for the British Grand Prix, finishing two hundredths of a second ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
However, in a tight session, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton pushed the Ferrari pair hard to end the 60 minutes just two hundredths behind Vettel. Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly put in a good final lap to take P4, only 0.164s behind Hamilton and three tenths of a second ahead of fifth-placed team-mate Max Verstappen.
The session got off to a slow start as light drizzle early in the running restricted most teams to the pit lane as they waited for the surface to come back towards slicks.
After a series of exploratory laps on intermediate tyres by variety of driver that change in conditions eventually occurred halfway into the session. Hamilton quickly jumped to the top of the order on soft tyres but as the track rapidly improved and the times tumbled.
With the available running time compressed the track was busy and while Leclerc complained bitterly about the traffic on a slightly compromised warm-up, it was Valtteri Bottas who perhaps had the most to moan about.
The Finn found himself tucked up behind the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat who was trying to navigate his way past one of the Ferraris. As the trio went into Woodcote, Bottas went to pass Kvyat on the inside. But the Russian was already drifting across, with the result that the Finn was almost squeezed into the wall on the inside.
With 10 minutes remaining in the session it looked as if Hamilton would lead the way with a time of 1:26.338 but then Leclerc found a step to post a lap of 1:25.905 that would stand as the benchmark until the end of the session.
Vettel, too, made late improvement to take second ahead of Hamilton. Gasly, who had traded positons with team-mate Verstappen throughout their running, made a final improvement to set a best time of 1:26.118. That left him fourth ahead of Verstappen and Bottas
McLaren driver Lando Norris also made a late improvement to claim seventh ahead of the two Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo, while the top 10 was rounded out by Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon.
2019 FIA Formula One British Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 17 1:25.905
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 16 1:25.931 0.026
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 21 1:25.954 0.049
4 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing 15 1:26.118 0.213
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 14 1:26.440 0.535
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 20 1:26.456 0.551
7 Lando Norris McLaren 15 1:26.689 0.784
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 16 1:26.945 1.040
9 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 15 1:26.965 1.060
10 Alex Albon Scuderia Toro Rosso 17 1:26.976 1.071
11 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 16 1:27.036 1.131
12 Carlos Sainz McLaren 15 1:27.106 1.201
13 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso 18 1:27.108 1.203
14 Romain Grosjean Haas 16 1:27.110 1.205
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas 16 1:27.275 1.370
16 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing 15 1:27.424 1.519
17 Lance Stroll Racing Point 14 1:27.544 1.639
18 Sergio Perez Racing Point 12 1:27.598 1.693
19 George Russell Williams 22 1:29.065 3.160
20 Robert Kubica Williams 19 1:29.450 3.545
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