British GP: Hamilton tops interrupted FP3 as Ericsson shunts heavily
Lewis Hamilton topped an interrupted final practice for the British Grand Prix, a session that was red-flagged after a massive crash for Marcus Ericsson.
The Sauber crashed against the wall on in the inside after Stowe with some 20 minutes left, forcing the session to be stopped while his car was recovered.
As the barrier suffered significant damage, work had to be carried out for several minutes, the action resuming with five minutes to go.
Hamilton ended on top with a 1:30.904 set on soft tyres, outpacing teammate Nico Rosberg by less than a tenth, the German returning to action after missing all of yesterday's second practice.
Red Bull was again Mercedes' closest challenger, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen third and fourth respectively.
Sebastian Vettel finished in fifth in the quickest Ferrari, but the German lamented suffering gearbox problems as he completed his final flying lap.
"I think we failed the gearbox again," said Vettel.
Teammate Kimi Raikkonen wound up ninth behind Valtteri Bottas, Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg.
Once more, the session kicked off under cloudy skies and on a damp track, having rained ahead of the start of practice.
That meant a slow start to the running, with drivers initially taking to the track on full wets and intermediates.
The slicks appeared before the 15-minute mark, but it was not until the session was 20 minutes old that the first time was registered, Rosberg posting a 1:42.6 on hard tyres.
The German wasted no time trying to make up for the lack of running yesterday and was quick to improve to a 1:33.591 as Vettel moved up to second.
The Ferrari driver then went quickest with a run on mediums, outpacing Rosberg by 0.388s.
Rosberg returned to the top with 27 minutes to go as he became one of the first drivers to put on soft tyres, but he was quickly relegated to second by Hamilton's 1:31.286, set right before Felipe Nasr spun his Sauber at Club.
Just a few minutes later there was further drama for the Swiss squad as teammate Marcus Ericsson crashed heavily coming out of Stowe.
The Swede ran slightly wide and lost the rear of his car after going over the kerb, which may have been damp as a result of earlier rain.
His car impacted the tyre barriers at very high speed, the steering wheel even coming off as a result of the crash.
Ericsson climbed out of the car unaided, but the session was red-flagged and marshals had to start repairing the tyre wall.
As they worked on that, light rain hit the circuit, but the action continued with five minutes remaining the clock.
Most drivers jumped onto the track with soft tyres on, and Rosberg moved to P1 with a 1:30.967, over two tenths quicker than Hamilton.
The Briton, however, fought back and went quickest by 0.063s.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||TAG||6||1'31.488||0.584||0.521|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||TAG||7||1'31.561||0.657||0.073|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||Mercedes||13||1'32.798||1.894||0.044|
|10||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso||Ferrari||9||1'32.889||1.985||0.056|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India||Mercedes||12||1'33.361||2.457||0.017|
|16||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||Ferrari||9||1'33.538||2.634||0.098|
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About this article
|Drivers||Lewis Hamilton Shop Now , Marcus Ericsson|
|Teams||Mercedes Shop Now , Sauber|