British GP, FP3: Bottas tops final practice

Hamilton 2nd, Bottas 3rd

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By Olivier Ferret

1 August 2020 - 13:06
British GP, FP3: Bottas tops final (...)

Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheet in final practice for the British Grand Prix beating Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by just over a tenths of a second. Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull Racing, three tenths of a second off Bottas’ pace. Racing Point, which set the pace on Friday, saw Lance Stroll finish fourth in the session.

The 60 minutes of running got underway in much cooler temperatures than Friday with thje air temperature some around 15 degrees lower than in FP2. It was similarly windy though and teams reported strong gusts at many places on track, particularly around Becketts and Turn 7, Luffield, making fine-tuning of set-up difficult.

Sebastian Vettel set the early pace, with the Ferrari driver seeking to make up for time lost yesterday when an intercooler issues restricted him to just two laps in the morning and work on his car’s pedal box saw him miss a portion of the afternoon.

However, around 20 minutes into the session the Mercedes cars emerged on soft tyres and immediately jumped to the top of the order. Hamilton and Bottas traded P1 times for the next 15 minutes but it was Bottas who eventually held sway with his time of 1:25.873s. That left him 0.1s clear of his teammate and the only man to dip below the 1m26s mark.

Verstappen took third 0.300 behind Hamilton, with the Dutchman looking more comfortable with his RB16 than on Friday. It was another troubled outing for team-mate Alex Albon, however.

The Thai driver was seeking to make up for time lost following his heavy crash at Stowe on Friday afternoon, but an electrical problem on his car in FP3 kept him in the garage until 15 minutes before the flag. He struggled to find a rhythm in his few runs and finished the session in P13, just in front of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who again reported problems with his brake pedal.

It was a better morning for Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc who took sixth place behind McLaren’s Carlos Sainz. Lando Norris took sixth for McLaren, ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, who set the quickest time in the first sector.

Nico Hulkenberg in his second session back in F1, took ninth for Racing Point, with the German driver finishing 0.2s slower than new teammate Stroll. Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10 for AlphaTauri.

Pos.DriverCarTimeLaps
01 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W11 1:25.873 19
02 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W11 1:26.011 22
03 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16 1:26.173 15
04 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:26.576 14
05 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL35 1:26.664 22
06 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF1000 1:26.771 19
07 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL35 1:26.798 23
08 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS20 1:26.841 15
09 Nico Hulkenberg Racing Point Mercedes RP20 1:26.872 15
10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT01 1:27.046 20
11 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda AT01 1:27.076 18
12 Esteban Ocon Renault RS20 1:27.158 16
13 Alex Albon Red Bull Honda RB16 1:27.178 10
14 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF1000 1:27.251 21
15 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:27.537 18
16 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43 1:27.738 17
17 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 1:27.825 16
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-20 1:27.860 15
19 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 1:27.976 20
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43 1:28.112 16

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