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FP3 : Russell's Rain Masterclass Secures Mercedes One-Two

FP3 : Russell’s Rain Masterclass Secures Mercedes One-Two

06/07/2024

In wet conditions at Silverstone, Russell steered Mercedes to a dominant one-two, while Norris clinched third and Gasly missed out due to an incident.

On a notably damp track, the third free practice session of the British Grand Prix unfolded at Silverstone. The morning’s scheduled F3 race was postponed due to the weather, with the rain ceasing just before this F1 session commenced.

Drivers cautiously ventured out on intermediate tyres, but it wasn’t long before Max Verstappen spun, completing a full 360 without major disruption to his performance as the reigning world champion.

Shortly thereafter, Pierre Gasly veered off the track and came to a halt in the gravel (see photo below). It’s been a challenging weekend for the Alpine driver, who had relinquished his seat to Jack Doohan in EL1, leaving him with just one hour of practice before qualifying.

The session resumed after a brief interruption of just over five minutes, during which the FIA warned of an imminent heavy downpour. However, the rain held off, allowing drivers to complete multiple fast laps.

Daniel Ricciardo was placed under investigation and summoned as he zigzagged down the wet pit lane, close to other teams’ mechanics, prompting a review by the FIA.

As the session progressed and the track dried, lap times steadily improved. Charles Leclerc initially set the fastest time, only to be successively overtaken by Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Oscar Piastri, Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, George Russell, and Sergio Perez.

Hamilton’s leading lap was short-lived, bettered first by Verstappen and then by Leclerc. Yet, the seven-time world champion responded robustly. Midway through the session, Leclerc established a new benchmark of 1’38″454, a time achieved on intermediate tyres and not reflective of the track’s potential.

Hamilton improved to 1’38″065 as the anticipated rain continued to hold off. Russell then topped that with a time of 1’37″529, placing Norris fourth, while Nico Hülkenberg, driving his modified Haas, broke into the top ten.

Towards the session’s end, the FIA announced a significant downpour imminent 15 minutes before the conclusion of Free Practice 3. As predicted, the rain began around twenty minutes before the session ended and intensified shortly after.

Before the deluge, the Williams drivers had climbed to tenth and eleventh positions. The session concluded quietly, but the Aston Martin F1 drivers and Daniel Ricciardo made gains on intermediate tyres.

Russell and Hamilton thus secured a Mercedes one-two, ahead of Norris and Sainz, followed by Verstappen, Leclerc, Piastri, and Alonso. Perez finished ninth, ahead of Hülkenberg. Ocon was sixteenth, with Gasly at the rear, having set no time.

Pos.DriverTeamTimeLaps
01George RussellMercedes W151:37.52923
02Lewis HamiltonMercedes W151:37.56428
03Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:37.71420
04Carlos SainzFerrari SF-241:38.13923
05Max VerstappenRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:38.39320
06Charles LeclercFerrari SF-241:38.45426
07Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:38.65427
08Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:38.94021
09Sergio PérezRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:39.28418
10Nico HülkenbergHaas Ferrari VF-241:39.34016
11Alex AlbonWilliams Mercedes FW461:39.60324
12Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:39.70023
13Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes FW461:39.70222
14Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:39.82026
15Valtteri BottasStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:40.24222
16Esteban OconAlpine Renault A5241:40.43025
17Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari VF-241:40.53921
18Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:40.82328
19Guanyu ZhouStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:41.78523
20Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault A524– :—.—2

Norris Takes Third as Gasly Sits Out After Crash. Norris Takes Third as Gasly Sits Out After Crash

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