Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two in the final practice session ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo by half a second.

Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari was a distant fifth behind Max Verstappen as the German finished over a second off the pace, while Kimi Raikkonen was even further down the order in ninth and just under two-seconds off Hamilton’s benchmark.

Marcus Ericsson brought out the red flag to interrupt the session with 20 minutes left when he lost control of his Sauber at Stowe corner and crashed heavily into the barrier. The force of the shunt was so heavy that the Swede’s steering wheel was detached itself from the steering column.

Extensive damage to the Sauber means that Ericsson will most likely start from pit lane for tomorrow’s race as the car won’t be ready for qualifying due to a lengthy repair job.

The delay in running lasted until there was five minutes left in the session as the Marshalls removed Ericsson’s destroyed Sauber from the track and worked on repairing the tyre barriers.

Once the debris were removed and the barriers repaired, drivers lined up at the end of pit exit waiting for the session to go green to complete as much running as they could as the damp track in the morning hindered qualifying preparations.

Rosberg improved to a 1:30.967 to go quickest with under a minute left on his way to completing 17 laps after he missed FP2 yesterday due to an oil leak, until Hamilton crossed the line to demote his teammate to second by 0.063 seconds.

Both Red Bull cars improved on the soft tyre to secure third and fourth position, confirming Verstappen’s comments that his team would be the best of the rest at the British GP.

Valtteri Bottas was the best placed Williams driver in sixth position ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, while his teammate failed to improve after the red flag interval and finished in 15th position.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg posted a late lap to improve to eighth position ahead of Raikkonen, while Carlos Sainz rounded out the top 10 less than a tenth behind the Finn.

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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