Silverstone, FP3: Ferrari edge ahead as Leclerc tops final practice ahead of Vettel

Leclerc heads Ferrari 1-2 in final British GP practice


By Olivier Ferret

13 July 2019 - 13:03
Silverstone, FP3: Ferrari edge (...)

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.

01 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF90 1:25.905 17
02 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF90 1:25.931 16
03 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W10 1:25.954 21
04 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Honda RB15 1:26.118 15
05 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB15 1:26.440 14
06 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W10 1:26.456 20
07 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL34 1:26.689 15
08 Nico Hülkenberg Renault RS19 1:26.945 16
09 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS19 1:26.965 15
10 Alex Albon Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:26.976 17
11 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:27.036 16
12 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL34 1:27.106 15
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:27.108 18
14 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:27.110 16
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:27.275 16
16 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:27.424 15
17 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:27.544 14
18 Sergio Pérez Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:27.598 12
19 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW42 1:29.065 22
20 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes FW42 1:29.450 19

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