German GP: Leclerc leads Sauber 1-2 in rain-hit FP3
Sauber's Charles Leclerc topped the times in a rain-hit final Formula 1 practice session at Hockenheim on Saturday afternoon.
Only nine drivers set a laptime in FP3 after a period of over half an hour where no cars took to the circuit due to heavy rain.
It was a Sauber 1-2 at the top of the timesheets as Marcus Ericsson set a lap 0.423s slower than his teammate.
Sergey Sirotkin was third for Williams ahead of Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari, followed by the two Toro Rossos and Nico Hulkenberg. The Renault driver was the only driver to set a time for the majority of the hour, until the final 10 minutes.
Conditions were still treacherous and at the end Pierre Gasly, Lance Stroll and Vettel all had spins on the slippery track.
Persistent rain started 30 minutes before the start of Saturday morning practice, which meant initially only 14 cars ventured out for just one install lap, but 15 minutes into the session the rain intensified, flooding the track and all further running was limited.
For over 35 minutes spectators had no choice but to watch large puddles form on an empty circuit, until there was a final flurry of cars taking to the track in the final ten minutes.
Hulkenberg completed a lap to set a time of 1m 36.873s 11 minutes into FP3 and two minutes after his lap, his teammate Carlos Sainz took to the circuit and spun at Turn 10 on the flooded surface.
He was able to return to the pits without damage, but Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul told Sky Sports that as the rain was getting heavier conditions had become "unsafe" and added there was "no point in running" especially with a limit on spare parts.
There was one close call in the pitlane early on as there was a misunderstanding between Red Bull's Max Verstappen and McLaren's Fernando Alonso with regards to who was about to stop at the end of the pitlane to attempt a practice start. They drove around each other without harm.
More rain is forecast for Hockenheim this afternoon with qualifying set to start two hours after the end of FP3.
|5||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||Honda||6||1'35.659||1.082||172.136|
|6||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||Honda||6||1'36.151||1.574||171.255|
|12||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||TAG||1|
|15||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||TAG||1|
|18||Esteban Ocon||Force India||Mercedes||2|
|19||Sergio Perez||Force India||Mercedes||1|
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|Article type||Practice report|