Lewis Hamilton tops the final practice session at the British Grand Prix.
Following Friday’s drivers’ briefing, the FIA race director Charlie Whiting issued a warning to that abuse of the track limits, especially at Copse, would not be tolerated. That left the field of 20 with 60 minutes to get into the groove at Silverstone ahead of qualifying, with Lewis Hamilton fastest come the chequered flag.
Hamilton managed to top the session without needing to fend off the threat posed by his team-mate when the session came to a close. But in the early stages the Briton watched on as Vettel headed the field.
For Vettel, the session had got off to a strong start while he and Bottas set the early pace. Yet despite his purple sectors in the opening stages, Seb was dropped by the Mercs by over half a second once they set about their opening stint on the hard tyres.
Unlike yesterday, when Rosberg topped both FP1 and FP2, FP3 was strongly in Hamilton’s pocket during the middle of the session as he eked out a greater advantage. And as he went faster, he lit up the time board with all the three’s after he posted a 1:33.333.
Elsewhere, Kvyat was showing Red Bull could come into play this weekend as he split the Ferrari’s for fourth. His team-mate meanwhile was down in seventh also behind the Toro Rosso of Verstappen as the youngster continued to show he’s pace in F1.
McLaren however continued to show their struggle for pace and lingered over 2 seconds off Hamilton’s time. Sauber and Manor were also far off the pace and going into qualifying, Sauber should be battling with the Woking team for a Q2 slot.
After the runs with hard tyres were completed, the field hit the pits to change on to the medium compound option tyres before a quick shoot out to prepare for qualifying.
Rosberg on the other hand appeared to not be able to participate in the final stage of the session after being sidelined with another gearbox issue, but yet again Mercedes managed to get the German back out towards the end of the session. Alonso also suffered a hydraulic leak causing him to remain in the McLaren garage, but unlike Nico he was unable to return for the end of the session.
First across the line on the mediums was Valtteri Bottas, but the best he could manage with his first lap was barely any faster than Raikkonen was able to on the hards. Verstappen on the other hand leaped ahead of the Finn before Kimi rocketed into second. Hamilton though wanted to secure P1 for the first time this weekend and stormed 7 tenths clear of the Ferrari immediately.
After those laps were completed, there were no more large gains to be found. But after Nico Rosberg returned to the track, he set about posting his first flyer on the mediums which was good enough for second despite being held up in the final sector by traffic.