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Formula 1

Leclerc leads Albon in final British GP F1 practice

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc led Williams driver Alex Albon in a rain-hit final British Grand Prix Formula 1 practice session at Silverstone.

Key moments:

> Rain freezes order at halfway point

> Leclerc heads Albon and Alonso

> Verstappen and Perez left without soft-tyre run

Leclerc – who sat out the entirety of Friday’s second practice due to an electrical issue – set the fastest time of the weekend so far, a 1m27.419s, on his initial run on softs, and looked on course to improve after swapping to a new set when rain arrived, effectively freezing the order in the standings and setting up a second half-hour of primarily intermediate-tyre running.

Remarkably, as his peers peeled into the pits en masse, the Monegasque elected to stay out on track for an extra lap of the slicks-on-wet experience – something that Lando Norris also tried later in the session as the rain eased off before picking up again.

Both Leclerc and Norris got through those without incident, though Leclerc did subsequently spin on inters in the final moments of the session.

The rain kicked off just short of the halfway point, but several teams had managed to pull off a last-gasp qualifying simulation on softs in anticipation – with Williams the quickest of those as Albon lapped just under two tenths off Leclerc.

Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and Pierre Gasly (Alpine) took advantage, too, to book their spots in the top four.

Lewis Hamilton was second-fastest after the opening runs, as Mercedes looked to have thoroughly shrugged off its disappointing single-lap pace from Friday, and that initial time was still good enough for fifth in the end, with team-mate George Russell in ninth.

It left Hamilton 0.016 seconds clear of Carlos Sainz, who was effectively matching Ferrari team-mate Leclerc’s pace on softs but didn’t get that final flyer in.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship British Grand Prix Qualifying Day Silverstone, England

Logan Sargeant was over half a second down on Williams team-mate Albon on his own soft-tyre attempt but still placed seventh.

Championship leader Max Verstappen settled for eighth, six places up on Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez. But the RB19s were medium-shod on their first stints and ran out of time to do a soft run, their radio communications suggesting they were caught out by the sooner-than-expected arrival of ran.

Yuki Tsunoda completed the top 10 for AlphaTauri, but this too was down to a last-second soft-tyre improvement.

McLaren is under investigation after having sent Norris out of the pits with equipment still attached to his MCL60’s exhaust – and with Norris having seemingly left what officially constitutes the pitlane by the time he was told to stop to have said equipment removed.

Practice 3 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m27.419s
2 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m27.592s +0.173s
3 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m27.592s +0.173s
4 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault 1m27.893s +0.474s
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m27.948s +0.529s
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m27.964s +0.545s
7 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes 1m28.151s +0.732s
8 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m28.266s +0.847s
9 George Russell Mercedes 1m28.284s +0.865s
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m28.337s +0.918s
11 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m28.504s +1.085s
12 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m28.563s +1.144s
13 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m28.62s +1.201s
14 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m28.904s +1.485s
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m29.207s +1.788s
16 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m29.233s +1.814s
17 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 1m29.437s +2.018s
18 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m29.586s +2.167s
19 Nico Hülkenberg Haas-Ferrari 1m33.59s +6.171s
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