It was under threatening skies, but on a dry track, that Free Practice 3 took place at Silverstone. The last free session was crucial to prepare for qualifying, although it could take place in heavy rain, with the radar indicating the arrival of a disturbance by mid-afternoon.
Fernando Alonso was the first to set a time, but Charles Leclerc signed the first real reference in soft rubber, with a time of 1’29 “452. Then we had to wait several minutes to see the Red Bulls and the Mercedes drivers F1 move forward.
It was first Sergio Pérez who took the lead, in 1’29″102, just ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who placed second in 1’29″228. Leclerc immediately responded with a time of 1″29″021.
It was then Max Verstappen who took the lead, with a time of 1’28″541, then improved to 1’28″498. Hamilton confirmed Mercedes’ return to form a little more by returning to 0.199 from the Dutchman.
George Russell took the fourth fastest time just ahead of Hamilton, and the Briton was pleased with the behavior of his W13, confirming on the radio that he had no “no rebound”. The rain circled around the Silverstone circuit but finally seemed to be moving away from it, at least for these EL3s.
Carlos Sainz took the third fastest time ahead of the Mercedes drivers, while Carlos Sainz was 22 thousandths of a second behind his teammate. Fernando Alonso took seventh place, just ahead of Esteban Ocon, who moved back into the top 10 on his first timed lap.
Leclerc closed within two thousandths of a second behind Verstappen, before the latter improved significantly in 1’27.901. Pérez was second, four tenths behind his teammate, while Russell improved his time. Mercedes driver took the fourth fastest time half a second behind Verstappen.
On the side of AlphaTauri, things did not work out, Yuki Tsunoda getting annoyed by a front axle slipping enormously on the track. The Japanese was 17th five minutes from the end of the session, two places behind his teammate Pierre Gasly.
Verstappen finished first ahead of Pérez, Leclerc, Russell, Hamilton and Sainz. Mercedes looks at least level with Ferrari, and close to Pérez, which could give us a three-way battle for pole.
Lando Norris is seventh ahead of Valtteri Bottas, Mick Schumacher and Alonso, which puts seven teams in the top 10. Ocon is 11th ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Guanyu Zhou and Alex Albon, who continues to work with the evolved Williams FW44.
|01||Max Verstappen||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:27.901||18|
|02||Sergio Perez||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:28.311||21|
|03||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari F1-75||1:28.348||21|
|04||george russell||Mercedes W13||1:28.426||21|
|05||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W13||1:28.488||24|
|06||carlos sainz||Ferrari F1-75||1:28.689||21|
|07||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:29.102||20|
|08||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:29.185||20|
|09||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:29.510||21|
|10||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A522||1:29.520||20|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A522||1:29.552||24|
|12||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:29.593||25|
|13||Guanyu-Zhou||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:29.752||17|
|14||Alex Albon||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:29.780||22|
|15||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:29.885||23|
|16||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:29.892||26|
|17||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:30.039||22|
|18||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:30.293||21|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:30.489||16|
|20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:30.523||19|