Verstappen fifth in final free practice at Silverstone

Published on 13 July 2019 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen finished fifth in the third free practice for the British Grand Prix. The Dutchman did, after a wet first part of the session, thirteen laps on the 5.89 km long Silverstone circuit and set a 1:26.440 as his fastest time. Ferrari was with Charles Leclerc (P1) and Sebastian Vettel (P2) the fastest, but the gap to the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton of less than half a tenth was very small.

Under thick clouds the third and final free practice in English Northamptonshire gets underway. Lando Norris is the first who comes out on track. However, it is his fellow countryman George Russell who sets the first time for Williams.

After more than ten minutes it starts raining. Russell, who is at that time the only one on track, returns to his team. In the following period it is very quiet on the British tarmac. Only a handful of drivers come out on track on intermediates. The teams seem to wait till it gets dry before really getting into action.

When after half an hour the track is dry enough for slicks, we see more and more drivers come out from the pitlane. At the moment when Max Verstappen comes out, it is Lewis Hamilton who leads with a 1:26.746. Valtteri Bottas (+0.459), Charles Leclerc (+0.700) and Sebastian Vettel (+1.094) form the top four. Verstappen sets a 1:27.269 in his first timed lap, which puts the Dutchman in P5. All of these times were set on the red, soft compound.

As the minutes pass, the lap times get lower and lower. With only fifteen minutes to go it is Lewis Hamilton who improves his fastest time with more than four tenths. Max also gets faster and gets himself in third place with a 1:26.654. Not long after that the Dutchman sets a 1:26.529, which tightens his grip on third position.

In the final phase of the session everyone goes for another quick lap. Charles Leclerc is the first drivers going under the 1:26. With a 1:25.905 the Monegasque is the quickest when the flag comes down. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton keep the gap to a minimum of less than half a tenth. Pierre Gasly (+0.213), Max Verstappen (+0.535) and Valtteri Bottas (+0.551) complete the top six.

Qualifying for the British Grand Prix will start at 3PM.

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Results third free practice Great Britain:

1Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:25.905 16
2Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:25.931+0.026s15
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:25.954+0.049s20
4Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda1:26.118+0.213s14
5Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:26.440+0.535s13
6Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:26.456+0.551s19
7Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:26.689+0.784s14
8Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:26.945+1.040s16
9Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:26.965+1.060s14
10Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:26.976+1.071s16
11Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:27.036+1.131s15
12Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:27.106+1.201s14
13Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:27.108+1.203s17
14Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:27.110+1.205s15
15Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:27.275+1.370s15
16Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:27.424+1.519s14
17Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:27.544+1.639s13
18Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:27.598+1.693s11
19George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:29.065+3.160s21
20Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:29.450+3.545s18