Great Britain, EL3: Verstappen in the lead, Mercedes F1 level with Ferrari

Great Britain, EL3: Verstappen in the lead, Mercedes F1 level with Ferrari

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.

pos. Pilot Car Time Towers
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

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