If final practice is any indicator then the battle for qualifying honours at the British Grand Prix will be a tightly-contested affair. Saturday’s third and final session saw the third different team at the top of the timesheets, with Scuderia Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel claiming a 1-2 at the Silverstone circuit.
Five-time British Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton finished third-fastest in his Mercedes-AMG, with the Englishman’s fastest lap of the one-hour session just 0.049 seconds slower than Leclerc’s best effort of 1:25.905 posted late on.
Red Bull Racing teammates Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen finished fourth- and fifth-fastest – the former outpaced the Austrian Grand Prix winner for the third session on the trot – while Saturday pace-setter Valtteri Bottas was sixth-fastest in the second Mercedes.
The early part of the session saw limited running as a light rain shower hit the circuit, with a few drivers venturing out onto the track on Intermediate tyres after the shower had passed.
Once conditions were suitable for a switch to slick tyres, the lap times tumbled in earnest with Hamilton and Bottas trading fastest times before both were usurped by Leclerc with nine minutes on the clock before he was joined by Vettel at the top of the timing screens.
Late flying laps by Gasly and Verstappen saw them split the Mercedes’, demoting Bottas to sixth-fastest.
McLaren’s Lando Norris continued his fine form this weekend, with his final flying lap proving good enough to vault him into seventh-fastest. The British youngster was the only driver outside the ‘big three’ teams to post a lap within one second of Leclerc.
The factory Renaults showed improved pace, with Daniel Ricciardo – running a new chassis following his engine failure on Friday – and teammate Nico Hülkenberg nicely placed in eighth and ninth respectively. Scuderia Toro Rosso rookie Alexander Albon also maintained his encouraging pace this weekend, completing the top ten.
|FORMULA 1 ROLEX BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2019 – FREE PRACTICE SESSION 2|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari SF90||1:25.905||16|
|2.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF90||1:25.931||+ 0.026||15|
|3.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10||1:25.954||+ 0.049||20|
|4.||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing RB15||1:26.118||+ 0.213||14|
|5.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing RB15||1:26.440||+ 0.535||13|
|6.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10||1:26.456||+ 0.551||19|
|7.||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team MCL34||1:26.689||+ 0.784||14|
|8.||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault F1 Team RS19||1:26.945||+ 1.040||16|
|9.||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault F1 Team RS19||1:26.965||+ 1.060||14|
|10.||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:26.976||+ 1.071||16|
|11.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing C38||1:27.036||+ 1.131||15|
|12.||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren F1 Team MCL34||1:27.106||+ 1.201||14|
|13.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:27.108||+ 1.203||17|
|14.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team VF-19||1:27.110||+ 1.205||15|
|15.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team VF-19||1:27.275||+ 1.370||15|
|16.||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing C38||1:27.424||+ 1.519||14|
|17.||Lance Stroll||Racing Point F1 Team RP19||1:27.544||+ 1.639||13|
|18.||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point F1 Team RP19||1:27.598||+ 1.693||11|
|19.||George Russell||ROKiT Williams Racing FW42||1:29.065||+ 3.160||21|
|20.||Robert Kubica||ROKiT Williams Racing FW42||1:29.450||+ 3.545||18|
Image via Scuderia Ferrari