Lewis Hamilton has set the pace in final practice for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone ahead of Saturday afternoon’s all-important qualifying session.
The Englishman finished the one-hour session half-a-second faster than Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, whose session was interrupted by a gearbox oil leak. Kimi Räikkönen was third for Ferrari a further two-tenths behind.
Rosberg again had his work cut out for him as a gearbox oil leak sidelined the Mercedes driver with 15 minutes left of practice to run. Rosberg was hampered in FP1 yesterday with a gearbox issue, although according to Mercedes the glitches aren’t related.
The German made a final appearance in the session with just two and a half minutes left to run, as he joined the rest of the field with switching to the Medium compound tyre.
With the majority of the field making the switch from Hard to Medium compound tyres with seven minutes left to run, the lap times began to tumble. Hamilton’s fastest lap on the medium tyre was 0.8 seconds quicker than Rosberg’s time on the hard tyre.
The Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa occupied the front end of the grid early in the session, and were able to keep the momentum going to stay in the top 10. Massa finished seventh, while Bottas was half-a-tenth behind in eighth.
Red Bull Racing was targeting Williams this weekend but so far haven’t made much of an impact. Both Red Bulls were beaten by their sister team Toro Rosso as Daniil Kvyat was the highest placed Red Bull driver in ninth, four-tenths of a second slower than Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso.
On the hard compound tyres, Carlos Sainz was the only driver to get within one second of the Mercedes pair. Both Toro Rosso drivers had a strong session, with Max Verstappen finishing in fifth and Sainz was one-tenth of a second behind in sixth position.
More problems for McLaren saw Fernando Alonso’s practice cut short with a hydraulics leak. The Spaniard was only able to complete six laps with a best time that was over three seconds off Hamilton’s benchmark.
Qualifying for the British Grand Prix starts at 13:00 local time (GMT +1).
|2015 Formula 1 British Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:32.917||18|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:33.469||+ 0.552||14|
|3.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:33.692||+ 0.775||20|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:33.918||+ 1.001||17|
|5.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:34.147||+ 1.230||20|
|6.||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:34.282||+ 1.365||23|
|7.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:34.501||+ 1.584||19|
|8.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:34.538||+ 1.621||19|
|9.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:34.545||+ 1.628||16|
|10.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:34.708||+ 1.791||25|
|11.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:34.886||+ 1.969||21|
|12.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:34.896||+ 1.979||15|
|13.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:35.121||+ 2.204||22|
|14.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:35.246||+ 2.329||22|
|15.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:35.587||+ 2.670||19|
|16.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:35.695||+ 2.778||19|
|17.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:35.919||+ 3.002||20|
|18.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:36.101||+ 3.184||6|
|19.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:37.989||+ 5.072||19|
|20.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:38.285||+ 5.368||18|
Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
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