Charles Leclerc led a Ferrari one-two in an extremely close final practice session for the British Grand Prix that ended with the top three teams covered by 0.2s.
Ferrari struggled with its front tires on Friday, specifically suffering with the front left and losing time in the final sector as a result, even over one lap. In cooler conditions in FP3 — with light rain affecting the session — the situation seemed to have improved, with Leclerc setting the pace courtesy of a 1m25.905s.
Sebastian Vettel was just 0.026s slower than his teammate as both Ferraris set their best times on the second timed lap on soft tires, with Lewis Hamilton needing a late effort to take third, 0.049s off Leclerc.
Pierre Gasly’s strong weekend continued with the fourth-fastest time as he registered a 1m26.118s, although his teammate Max Verstappen struggled more with the handling of his car — emphasized by a slide at Luffield — and ended up half a second off the pace. Valtteri Bottas was similarly fighting his Mercedes and was 0.016s slower than Leclerc, while Lando Norris in seventh was again strong and the only other driver within a second of the fastest time on a 1m26.689s.
Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo moved Renault back into eighth and ninth respectively after it had appeared to slip back in FP2, while Alexander Albon took 10th for Toro Rosso, finishing inside the top 10 for the third consecutive session.
It was a slow start to the session as light rain started to fall, eventually leading to a number of drivers completing laps on the intermediate tire before returning to the softs for the second 30 minutes,
There were fewer off track moments than on Friday despite the damp conditions, but that gave way to a number of on-track incidents between drivers.
The first came when Leclerc felt he was held up by Daniil Kvyat in the first sector and backed off, but was then going too slowly for Kvyat’s liking. As the Toro Rosso tried to overtake at Woodcote, Bottas was also being hampered by the two cars ahead and was trying to pass both, with Kvyat apparently unaware. The Russian moved to the right and Bottas was forced very close to the inside wall, having to brake to avoid an accident.
There was then another moment at the same corner between Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz, with the McLaren driver apologizing after apparently holding up the Haas, but Magnussen making his point by driving close to Sainz’s front wing before pulling away.
Haas was relatively competitive despite finishing 14th and 15th with Romain Grosjean and Magnussen respectively, as the Dane was only 0.3s adrift of Hulkenberg in eighth place.