FP3: Hamilton on top in final prac

John Dykes’ Chang Team of the Week for EPL Matchweek 31

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets in final practice for the British GP on a morning where it seemed that only reliability could stop Mercedes – and it stopped Nico Rosberg.

Following heavy overnight rain, in which a thunderstorm washed away any rubber that had been laid down on Friday, drivers were in for a slick start on Saturday.

Ferrari and Williams had the better of the early running as they led the way only to be pipped by the Mercedes pairing when Rosberg and Hamilton ventured out after 20 minutes.

They immediately claimed the 1-2 and set about lowering the benchmark time down to a 1:33.333 on the hard tyres with Hamilton 0.398s up on Rosberg.

Kimi Raikkonen was third on the hard tyres ahead of Daniil Kvyat, Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen.

With the Mercedes drivers a full second clear of Raikkonen it appeared as if reliability were the only thing that could stop them claiming the 1-2.

But while it didn't do that, it did cause a few headaches for the team as Rosberg spent 20 minutes in the pits as Mercedes worked to repair an oil leak in his gearbox.

He did make it out in the final three minutes go put in a medium tyre run that put him P2, 0.552s behind Hamilton. The Brit set the pace with a 1:32.917.

Raikkonen was third, 0.775s slower than Hamilton, while Vettel was fourth, a full second down.

Verstappen claimed fifth place for Toro Rosso ahead of Carlos Sainz, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

Times
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:32.917 18 laps
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:33.469 0.552 14 laps
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:33.692 0.775 21 laps
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:33.918 1.001 17 laps
5 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:34.147 1.230 21 laps
6 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:34.282 1.365 23 laps
7 Felipe Massa Williams    1:34.501 1.584 19 laps
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:34.538 1.621 19 laps
9 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:34.545 1.628 17 laps
10 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:34.708 1.791 25 laps
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:34.886 1.969 21 laps
12 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:34.896 1.979 16 laps
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1:35.121 2.204 22 laps
14 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:35.246 2.329 22 laps
15 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:35.587 2.670 19 laps
16 Jenson Button McLaren 1:35.695 2.778 19 laps
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:35.919 3.002 20 laps
18 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:36.101 3.184 6 laps
19 Will Stevens Manor 1:37.989 5.072 20 laps
20 Roberto Merhi Manor 1:38.285 5.368 19 laps

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