Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets in FP3 ahead of qualifying for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone, one place in front of his Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas, as Lando Norris put his McLaren in P3 – 0.581s off Hamilton.
The hour-long session began with Ferrari and McLaren sharing the track as it took 25 minutes for Mercedes to emerge. With 15 minutes remaining, the Silver Arrows began their qualifying runs on soft tyres and eventually it was Hamilton who beat Bottas with the fastest lap of 1m26.621s, 0.163s faster than the best the Finn could manage.
Norris, who began the session on softs but moved to mediums with 30 minutes remaining, managed to make it to P3 on those compounds (the only driver to set his fastest lap on mediums) – which bodes well for him for qualifying at 1400 local time. His teammate Carlos Sainz ended the session on medium tyres and finished P10, 1.006s off top spot.
The Racing Point pair – their RP20s still the focal point off-track after the FIA confirmed five teams intend to appeal the stewards’ verdict on their cars – had Sergio Perez stand-in Nico Hulkenberg in P4, marginally faster than fifth-place team mate Lance Stroll.
EMIRATES FORMULA 1 70TH ANNIVERSARY GRAND PRIX 2020
Practice 3 results
|1 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes||1:26.621|
|2 Valtteri BOTTAS Mercedes||+0.163s|
|3 Lando NORRIS McLaren||+0.581s|
|4 Nico HULKENBERG Racing Point||+0.635s|
|5 Lance STROLL Racing Point||+0.642s|
Sixth-place Charles Leclerc and Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel, who ended the session in P13, took brand new engines, turbos, and MGU-H units ahead of FP3 – with Vettel’s Ferrari power unit having spluttered to a halt at the end of FP2 on Friday. According to Ferrari, the change on Leclerc’s car was done “as a precaution”, with no penalty incurred for either driver since they are still within their allocation for the season.
Max Verstappen had to abort his first flying lap on new soft tyres with ten minutes remaining having encountered a slow-going Stroll through Maggotts/Becketts, which led to an expletive-filled rant over the radio. The Red Bull driver later improved to finish P7, ahead of team mate Alex Albon in P8.
Renault’s Esteban Ocon managed a ninth-place finish over midfield rival Sainz, while Daniel Ricciardo – who was an impressive third quickest in FP2 on Friday – finished 14th overall as his final flying laps were hampered by traffic.
Pierre Gasly beat his AlphaTauri team mate by a tenth of a second to finish P11, with Daniil Kvyat P12 ahead of Vettel’s Ferrari. Vettel was one of just four drivers to use mediums in the session, the others being team mate Leclerc and the McLaren duo.
The Alfa Romeo pair, led by P18 Antonio Giovinazzi over Kimi Raikkonen, finished behind the Williams duo, with Nicholas Latifi in front of George Russell as they occupied P16 and P17.
Rounding out the standings was Kevin Magnussen, 2.142s off the pace as his Haas teammate Romain Grosjean was seven-tenths faster in P15.