Site logo

Hamilton quickest in shortened FP3


Ahead of today's free practice session, the air temperature is 16 degrees C, whilst the track temperature is 19 degrees. There was a little rain earlier - what do you expect, this is Britain - and while this soon stopped, around half-an-hour before the beginning of this session the heavens opened, just GP2 qualifying was reaching its climax.

The rain subsequently stopped but there remains a 40% chance of further showers over the next hour.

Of course, the blustery winds - this being a former RAF airbase - soon dry the track once the rain stops but at the same time present their own problem.

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in both of yesterday's sessions, teammate Nico Rosberg sitting out the whole of FP2 with what is thought to have been a water leak but was subsequently thought to be something more serious. Though this wasn't the German's race engine the team admits to fearing it may lose a unit from its 'engine pool'.

Due to the different tyre strategies the teams were using it was hard to get a handle on the exact nature of the form sheet, though clearly Mercedes is very strong here.

Baden on those opening sessions, Red Bull and Ferrari are next up, ahead of Williams, with McLaren and Haas also looking strong.

As was the case yesterday with GP2, the stewards have now announced that they are adopting a "zero tolerance" attitude towards drivers who run wide (all four wheels) at T9 (Copse), and any driver who runs wide will have that particular lap time deleted. This will apply to Stowe (T15) and Club (T18) also.

The lights go green and Gutierrez leads the way, followed by Vettel, Massa, Grosjean, Rosberg and Raikkonen.

Ericsson's Sauber has a strange new additional piece of black bodywork around the front of the cockpit, suggesting it could be something to do with visibility as the team looks ahead to 2017 and the introduction of the Halo. Or not.

All the running thus far has been on the Inters, however, the McLaren duo, like Ericsson and Bottas, are on full wets. Though it is not that damp, this could be with the intention of saving Inters for qualifying and the race.

Ten minutes in and we have yet to see a time on the boards, while Ricciardo, Nasr, Magnussen, Hamilton and Wehrlein have yet to make an appearance.

Those brave Force India boys are the first to make the switch to slicks, both heading out on the mediums.

Perez pits after just one lap, as does Hulkenberg. However, the pair immediately head out again. They are joined by Rosberg who is on the hards.

Again, after just one lap the Force India duo head back in. Not so Rosberg who stays out.

Onboard footage shows damp patches, particularly at the infamous T9.

Rosberg crosses the line at 1:42.634, around 11s off yesterday's pace.

As Rosberg improves to 36.069, he is joined on track by Vettel and Raikkonen, both of whom are on mediums.

Raikkonen is warned about the track limits.

As the Ferraris begin their first flying laps, more drivers head out including Masa, Grosjean and Bottas. Both Williams drivers are on the softs.

Vettel posts 33.863 to go second to Rosberg's 33.591, with Raikkonen posting 34.697 moments later.

As more and more drivers head out, sporting all three compounds, Vettel goes quickest with a 33.203. Massa (softs) goes third (34.018), ahead of Bottas, Raikkonen and Grosjean.

As Hamilton finally heads out, Raikkonen makes it a Ferrari 1-2 with a 33.376.

"The fuel number is going down massively," warns Grosjean.

Bottas splits the Ferraris with a 33.317, as Rosberg goes quickest in S1, the German now on the softs also. The world championship leader posts 31.331, faster than anything we saw yesterday.

However, much to the crowd's delight, Hamilton responds with a 31.286.

A spin for Nasr at T16. The Brazilian, on softs, is currently tenth.

There are some ominous clouds in the distance and they appear to be heading this way.

A 33.520 sees Sainz go seventh, as the Red Bull duo remain the only drivers yet to post a time.

Whilst Ricciardo finally posts time - 32.004 - to go third, teammate Verstappen fills the air with sparks the Red Bull appearing to bottom all around the travck . Nonetheless, he posts 31.760 to go third.

Red Flag.

The session is stopped following a massive crash involving Ericsson coming out of Stowe.

It takes a while but the Swede eventually climbs from the wrecked Sauber, much to the relief of the crowd.

Replay shows the Swede touch the Astroturf on the outside of the corner, he is then a passenger as the Sauber hits the barriers on the other side of the track. Worryingly, his steering wheel becomes detached during the impact.

Other than the car, which is very, badly damaged, so too is the tyre barrier.

Having been examined track-side, Ericsson waves to the crowd. His C35, which hasn't been so lucky, is loaded on to the back of a recovery vehicle.

As repairs to the barrier continue, and with the clock still ticking down - 09:26 remaining - it's: Hamilton, Rosberg, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Vettel, Bottas, Alonso, Raikkonen, Sainz and Massa.

Check out our Saturday gallery, here.


more news >



galleries >

  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images


or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment



No comments posted as yet, would you like to be the first to have your say?

Share this page


Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2023. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms