British GP: Leclerc edges Vettel, Hamilton in third practice

Charles Leclerc narrowly topped third practice for the British Grand Prix ahead of Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel, with Lewis Hamilton completing a top three split by just 0.049 seconds.

British GP: Leclerc edges Vettel, Hamilton in third practice

Leclerc left it late to post his fastest time of 1m25.905s on soft tyres on a cool, drizzly Saturday morning at Silverstone, the lap putting him 0.026s ahead of Vettel.

Mercedes driver Hamilton headed up Red Bull pair Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen, while Valtteri Bottas ended up sixth-fastest in the second Mercedes.

The arrival of light rain a little more than 10 minutes into the session meant George Russell's early benchmark of 1m31.810s stood for more than half an hour.

Several cars ventured out on intermediates after the shower, including Hamilton, who told his Mercedes team via radio he felt the conditions were good enough to go out on slicks.

The reigning champion soon came in for a set of soft-compound Pirellis, but didn't venture out of the pits at first, waiting until just after the half-hour mark to head out on the red-marked tyres.

Russell's time finally was beaten by Renault's Nico Hulkenberg with 26 minutes left on the clock, the opening salvo in a series of improvements that lasted practically for the remainder of the session.

Both Hamilton and Bottas enjoyed multiple spells leading the way before Leclerc finally set his session-topping time on soft tyres with a little more than nine minutes left in the session.

Vettel made a late move up to second shortly afterwards, also on softs, to move clear of Hamilton, while both Gasly and Verstappen set their best times in the closing minutes to jump Bottas.

McLaren driver Lando Norris made a last-ditch improvement to move up to seventh ahead of the two Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo, running a new chassis on Saturday after his engine failure on Friday, and Hulkenberg, while the top 10 was rounded out by Toro Rosso's Alex Albon.

Carlos Sainz was 12th-fastest in the second McLaren behind the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi.

Daniil Kvyat almost squeezed Bottas into the barriers at Woodcote in the latter stages on his way to the 13th-best time in the second Toro Rosso.

The two Haas cars of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were next up, followed by Kimi Raikkonen's Alfa and the Racing Point machines of Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez.

Russell was predictably shuffled all the way back to 19th after his long early spell out front, ending up ahead of only Williams teammate Robert Kubica.

Session results:

Cla # Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 16 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 17 1'25.905
2 5 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari 16 1'25.931 0.026
3 44 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 21 1'25.954 0.049
4 10 France Pierre Gasly
Red Bull 15 1'26.118 0.213
5 33 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 14 1'26.440 0.535
6 77 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 20 1'26.456 0.551
7 4 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 15 1'26.689 0.784
8 27 Germany Nico Hulkenberg
Renault 16 1'26.945 1.040
9 3 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
Renault 15 1'26.965 1.060
10 23 Thailand Alex Albon
Toro Rosso 17 1'26.976 1.071
11 99 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 16 1'27.036 1.131
12 55 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
McLaren 15 1'27.106 1.201
13 26 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat
Toro Rosso 18 1'27.108 1.203
14 8 France Romain Grosjean
Haas 16 1'27.110 1.205
15 20 Denmark Kevin Magnussen
Haas 16 1'27.275 1.370
16 7 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 15 1'27.424 1.519
17 18 Canada Lance Stroll
Racing Point 14 1'27.544 1.639
18 11 Mexico Sergio Perez
Racing Point 12 1'27.598 1.693
19 63 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 22 1'29.065 3.160
20 88 Poland Robert Kubica
Williams 19 1'29.450 3.545
shares
comments
Norris switches to upgraded Renault engine

Previous article

Norris switches to upgraded Renault engine

Next article

Ferrari has "significant" answer on cause of update struggles

Ferrari has "significant" answer on cause of update struggles
Load comments
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021