Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 in third British GP practice

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Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 in third British GP practice

Formula 1

Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 in third British GP practice

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Max Verstappen dominated final practice at the British Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull Racing teammate Sergio Perez.

Verstappen had only two stints on track on the soft tire but blitzed the field easily with his second set of the red-walled rubber to set a time of 1m27.901s, which was 0.41s quicker than Perez in a strong rebound for Red Bull Racing after a difficult Friday setting up its upgraded car.

Ferrari was the next-best team, but Charles Leclerc was 0.447s off the pace, almost all of which was lost along the straights, with the red car otherwise a match through the corners.

Mercedes enjoyed another largely encouraging day, with George Russell pipping Lewis Hamilton by 0.062s to fourth in the order, although the pair was more than half a second adrift of Verstappen.

Somewhat concerning, however, was that both Russell and Hamilton reported some bouncing through the high-speed corners as the session wore on, though there was still no sign of the aggressive hopping down the straights of previous rounds.

Carlos Sainz, quickest in FP2, could not re-ignite his Friday form. He ended the hour 0.788s off the pace and complaining that “the problems from yesterday in high speed are not better,” the Spaniard still not fully comfortable with the SF-75’s lively rear end.

Lando Norris was quickest among the midfielders again after leaving his soft-tire run until late in the session to go 1.201s off the benchmark time. Valtteri Bottas followed a further 0.083s adrift.

Haas, Alpine and Aston Martin were tightly matched in the middle of the order, with Mick Schumacher prevailing at 1.609s off the pace. Fernando Alonso was just 0.01s further back and just 0.032s ahead of teammate Esteban Ocon, who in turn was just 0.041s quicker than Sebastian Vettel.

Zhou Guanyu followed for Alfa Romeo in 13th ahead of Alex Albon, who continued with the upgraded Williams aero package after a positive Friday.

AlphaTauri continued to have its weaknesses exposed by Silverstone’s high-speed sweeps, with Pierre Gasly 1.984s off the pace in 15th ahead of Lance Stroll and Yuki Tsunoda.

Daniel Ricciardo couldn’t string together his single soft-tire run late in the session and ended 18th ahead of only Nicholas Latifi and Kevin Magnussen.

The day’s first session featured none of the predicted rain, but the forecast suggests rain remains likely for qualifying later today.

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