British GP: Hamilton sets blistering FP3 pace

Lewis Hamilton bounced back from a difficult Friday to set a blistering pace in final practice for the British Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver, who was unhappy with the handling of his car yesterday, set the pace with a lap of 1:32.917, set near the end of the session with the medium tyres.

Hamilton outpaced teammate Nico Rosberg by over half a second, after the German lost some time due to problems with his car's gearbox.

Kimi Raikkonen was third for Ferrari, with teammate Sebastian Vettel in fourth, but over a second off Hamilton's pace.

Toro Rosso continued to show strong form, with Max Verstappen completing the top five ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz. The sister Red Bull cars of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat finished in 12th and ninth places respectively.

Williams driver Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were seventh and eighth, with the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado completing the top 10.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso finished down in 18th position after just six laps, the Spaniard not even running with the softer tyres after reportedly suffering hydraulic issues.

The story of the session

The running began under cloudy skies, with the track temperature down to 26 degrees Celsius following yesterday's heat.

Raikkonen put his Ferrari on top early on as the drivers assessed the track conditions with the harder of the Pirelli tyre compounds.

Romain Grosjean set a new benchmark moments later, the times still far from yesterday's best, with Alonso taking P1 briefly before Massa moved to the top spot with a 1:35.460.

Bottas relegated his teammate to second after going nearly four tenths of a second quicker, before Vettel became the first man to dip into the 1m34s to put the Ferrari back on top.

The Mercedes and the Red Bull drivers were the last one to complete a timed lap, with Rosberg and Hamilton going out 20 minutes into the session following their installation lap early on.

Rosberg needed just two laps to put his Mercedes in first place, the German setting a new benchmark with a 1:34.436, still using the hard tyres.

That did not last long, however, as Hamilton beat his teammate's time by 0.037s, much to the delight of the crowd.

But Rosberg was far from done, and he set the fastest time of weekend so far with a lap of 1:33.731, over six tenths of a second quicker than Hamilton.

The world champion reacted right away, however, and put himself back in first place with a blistering lap of 1:33.333, putting the Mercedes over a second clear of its closest rival.

Rosberg then suffered a problem with his gearbox, but his mechanics managed to correct it quickly and the German did not lose much time and got back out with enough time to run again.

The medium tyres made their appearance with the top runners with less than 10 minutes of the session left, and Hamilton put them to good use right away, setting a new best with a 1:32.917.

British GP 2015 - Free Practice 3
 DriverTeamTimeGapLaps
01   L. Hamilton   Mercedes 1:32.917   18
02   N. Rosberg   Mercedes 1:33.469 +0.552 14
03   K. Raikkonen   Ferrari 1:33.692 +0.775 20
04   S. Vettel   Ferrari 1:33.918 +1.001 17
05   M. Verstappen   Toro Rosso 1:34.147 +1.230 20
06   C. Sainz   Toro Rosso 1:34.282 +1.365 23
07   F. Massa   Williams 1:34.501/td> +1.584 19
08   V. Bottas   Williams 1:34.538 +1.621 19
09   D. Kvyat   Red Bull 1:34.545 +1.628 16
10   P. Maldonado   Lotus 1:34.708 +1.791 25
11   N. Hulkenberg   Force India 1:34.888 +1.969 21
12   D. Ricciardo   Red Bull 1:34.896 +1.979 15
13   S. Perez   Force India 1:35.121 +2.204 22
14   R. Grosjean   Lotus 1:35.646 +2.329 22
15   F. Nasr   Sauber 1:35.587 +2.670 19
16   J. Button   McLaren 1:35.695 +2.778 19
17   M. Ericsson   Sauber 1:35.919 +3.002 20
18   F. Alonso   McLaren 1:36.101 +3.184 6
19   W. Stevens   Manor 1:37.989 +5.072 19
20   R. Merhi   Manor 1:38.285 +5.368 18

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event British GP
Sub-event Saturday practice
Track Silverstone
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Lewis Hamilton , Nico Rosberg
Article type Practice report