2023 British Grand Prix FP3: Leclerc tops final practie ahead of Awesome Albon

230027 Scuderia Ferrari British Gp Friday Min
230027 Scuderia Ferrari British Gp Friday Min

Rain fell for the Formula 3 Sprint race earlier in the day but Silverstone dried out in time for the 2023 British Grand Prix’s FP3 session. Yesterday’s Free Practice 1 and FP2 sessions saw Red Bull and Max Verstappen stay top of the pile, but Williams have emerged as dark horses.

With a 90% chance of rain forecast for the final practice session before this afternoon’s qualifying, FP3 was always going to be interesting. We saw a different driver top the standings, as Charles Leclerc put his FP2 disappointments behind him to set the fastest time this morning. Alex Albon continued his and Williams’ excellent form as there were plenty of stories up and down the grid.

2023 British Grand Prix FP3

One of the home favourites Lando Norris got off to a less than ideal start, as he was told to stop the car before he left the pit-lane. Thankfully, it was just for something that was left on his car rather than a serious mechanical issue and he was sent on his way.

With the threat of rain looming, most of the field was straight out onto the track to set qualifying laps on Medium tyres. Unsurprisingly, it was Verstappen who was top after the first round of laps, but both Ferraris were his closest challengers again.

Mercedes had an awful Friday, but Sir Lewis Hamilton flew up to second, with George Russell up in fourth. However, the Silver Arrows appeared to be masking their pace with the Soft tyres, as last year’s winner Carlos Sainz soon went a second faster than Hamilton on the same compound soon after.

Großer Preis Von Großbritannien 2023, Freitag Lat Images
2023 British Grand Prix, Friday – LAT Images

Hamilton responded by narrowly beating Sainz at the top before Leclerc improved by half a second. Due to the rain earlier on, the track was getting faster as the session went on. Oscar Piastri reported lightning with 40 minutes remaining as the storm clouds appeared to be gathering.

It looked as though Williams’ pace had tapered off somewhat, but Alex Albon produced another mega lap to go P2 on the Softs. The rain began to fall shortly after, so nobody improved their times. Despite the best efforts of Leclerc, the track was undriveable on Softs for the time being.

A few drivers came out on Intermediates, but the circuit never got dry enough for slicks. Rain kept falling on and off, setting us up for a fascinating qualifying session later today!

Full Classification

Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), Pierre Gasly (Alpine) and Hamilton (Mercedes) made it five constructors in the top five. How competitive these drivers will be in qualifying isn’t clear, as not everybody got a clean run in the dry weather.

1Charles Leclerc16Ferrari1:27.419
2Alex Albon23Williams+0.173
3Fernando Alonso14Aston Martin+0.365
4Pierre Gasly10Alpine+0.474
5Lewis Hamilton44Mercedes+0.529
6Carlos Sainz55Ferrari+0.545
7Logan Sargeant2Williams+0.732
8Max Verstappen1Red Bull+0.847
9George Russell63Mercedes+0.865
10Yuki Tsunoda22AlphaTauri+0.918
11Nyck de Vries21AlphaTauri+1.085
12Lando Norris4McLaren+1.144
13Lance Stroll18Aston Martin+1.201
14Sergio Perez11Red Bull+1.485
15Kevin Magnussen20Haas+1.788
16Esteban Ocon31Alpine+1.814
17Oscar Piastri81McLaren+2.018
18Valtteri Bottas77Alfa Romeo+2.167
19Nico Hulkenberg27Haas+6.171
20Zhou Guanyu23Alfa RomeoNo time
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