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British GP: Hamilton edges out Vettel to top FP3

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British GP: Hamilton edges out Vettel to top FP3
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Jul 15, 2017, 10:01 AM

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in final practice for the British Grand Prix, beating Formula 1 championship rival Sebastian Vettel by just 0.032 seconds on Saturday morning.

 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
 Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
 Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
 Felipe Massa, Williams FW40
 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
 Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17

With the session commencing with an 80 percent chance of rain, most drivers opted to get out on track early on before the bad weather had chance to hit, which it finally did in the final 20 minutes.

Valtteri Bottas, who has been hit by a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, led the way in the opening runs on soft tyres, setting an early benchmark of 1m28.827s in the first 10 minutes.

His Mercedes teammate Hamilton then took the top spot with a 1m28.747s on the yellow-marked rubber, which stood as the best time until the Briton equipped supersoft tyres just shy of the halfway mark and set a 1m28.063s to go seven tenths clear of the pack.

Bottas was only able to come within 0.151s of Hamilton on his first run on supersofts, and it was Ferrari driver Vettel who emerged as the three-time champion's closest rival as he slotted into second, just 0.032s adrift.

With the rain arriving some 15 minutes later, Hamilton's effort stood as the best time of the session - and the weekend so far - with Vettel staying second and Bottas third, the Finn albeit improving marginally to a 1m28.137s to end up less than a tenth off the pace.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest in the second Ferrari, a full 0.669s behind Hamilton on the supersoft tyres, and nearly eight tenths up on fifth-placed Nico Hulkenberg in the Renault.

Best of the Red Bull drivers was Daniel Ricciardo in sixth, 1.549s slower than Hamilton, followed by the Haas of Romain Grosjean and Max Verstappen, whose best time was set on softs.

The Dutchman did attempt a supersoft run, but left it too late and was caught out by the rain, running off-track at Brooklands and quickly returning to the pits.

Felipe Massa's Williams and Stoffel Vandoorne's McLaren completed the top 10, the latter eclipsing teammate Fernando Alonso by 0.050s.

Besides Verstappen, the only other drivers not to set their best time on supersofts were Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz, who was 17th fastest, and the second Williams of Lance Stroll, who propped up the timesheets, 1.4s slower than Massa.

All drivers headed out in the closing stages of the session on intermediate tyres, an extra set of which being supplied by Pirelli for the session, with Ricciardo spinning but avoiding the wall exiting Club and Marcus Ericsson pirouetting on the approach to Vale.

ClaDriverChassisEngineLapsTimeGap
1 united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 18 1'28.063  
2 germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 14 1'28.095 0.032
3 finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 20 1'28.137 0.074
4 finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 15 1'28.732 0.669
5 germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault 14 1'29.480 1.417
6 australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 15 1'29.612 1.549
7 france Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari 14 1'29.819 1.756
8 netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 13 1'29.904 1.841
9 brazil Felipe Massa  Williams Mercedes 19 1'29.959 1.896
10 belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Honda 19 1'30.088 2.025
11 spain Fernando Alonso  McLaren Honda 17 1'30.138 2.075
12 france Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes 19 1'30.172 2.109
13 denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 15 1'30.270 2.207
14 united_kingdom Jolyon Palmer  Renault Renault 16 1'30.302 2.239
15 mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 16 1'30.416 2.353
16 russia Daniil Kvyat  Toro Rosso Renault 20 1'30.504 2.441
17 spain Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso Renault 19 1'30.515 2.452
18 germany Pascal Wehrlein  Sauber Ferrari 24 1'30.621 2.558
19 sweden Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari 24 1'30.630 2.567
20 canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 18 1'31.358 3.295
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