Leclerc leads Sauber 1-2 in wet German GP third practice

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Leclerc leads Sauber 1-2 in wet German GP third practice

Formula 1

Leclerc leads Sauber 1-2 in wet German GP third practice

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Charles Leclerc led a Sauber one-two in the final practice session for the German Grand Prix as heavy rain resulted in only nine drivers setting a lap time.

The 10 minutes before the start of sessions saw rain starting to fall at Hockenheim, with the majority of teams remaining in the garage as conditions quickly worsened. For most of the hour-long session, Nico Hulkenberg was the only driver to have set a lap time, while teammate Carlos Sainz spun at Turn 10 to highlight how much standing water was on the track.

In the final 10 minutes, a number of cars decided to head out in order to assess the conditions with qualifying also likely to be wet, and it was the two Saubers who topped the times with Leclerc posting a 1m34.577s to lead teammate Marcus Ericsson by 0.423s.

Even though neither reached double figures, both Sauber drivers were two of the busiest in terms of laps completed, while Sergey Sirotkin in third place matched Ericsson’s tally of nine laps and posted a 1m35.334s.

Of the nine drivers to set a time, the two Ferraris were the only front-runners to do so, with Sebastian Vettel fourth and Kimi Raikkonen down in eighth ahead of Lance Stroll. Vettel suffered a spin at the hairpin after running deep under braking — an error made by a number of drivers — while Stroll ended the session with a more dramatic moment when he slid wide in the stadium section and bounced across the grass before rejoining.

Like Sainz, Stroll also spun at Turn 10, as did Pierre Gasly as the majority of running took place on full wet tires due to the amount of rain that fell during the session.

More than half the field opted to carry out only one or two laps in total, saving tires and the cars themselves ahead of qualifying — for which more rain is forecast.

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