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F1 - Leclerc tops rain-disrupted final practice for German Grand Prix


Sauber’s Charles Leclerc topped a rain-disrupted final practice session for the German Grand Prix ahead of team-mate Marcus Ericsson and Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin as heavy downpours led to just nine drivers setting times at Hockenheim

The session began on a wet track and with light dizzle failing. Leclerc was the first man out on track, on blue-banded full wet Pirelli tyres, and he was soon followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne.

All three retreated to the garage after testing the conditions and it was left to Renault’s Nico Hulkenber to post the first timed lap of the hour-long session with a time of 1:36.873. Team-mate Carlos Sainz was set to add to the list but a Turn 10 spin led the Spaniard to abandon his run and he too headed back to the pit lane.

The rain then began to intensify and as it became a steady downpour there was a long lull. Then in the final 10 minutes of the season Leclerc’s Sauber was once again fired up and the Monegasque driver took to the circuit.

He was joined by tam-mate Ericsson, the Williams cars of Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll, the Toro Rossos of Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly and then by Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

Leclerc quickly led the way but three minutes from time Vettel moved into P1 with a time of 1:35.573. The Sauber driver wasn’t done, however, and just after the chequered flag had been waved Leclerc crossed the line to once again take P1 with a final time of 1:34.577.

Ericsson too snuck in a final good lap and he took second place, four tenths of a second adrift of Leclerc. Sirotkin finished third, three tenths further back with Vettel fourth, just under second behind Leclerc.

Force India pairing Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez also put in laps at the end of the session, along with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, though none set times.

2018 Formula 1 German Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Charles Leclerc Sauber 8 1:34.577
2 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 9 1:35.000 0.423
3 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 9 1:35.334 0.757
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 5 1:35.573 0.996
5 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 6 1:35.659 1.082
6 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 6 1:36.151 1.574
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 4 1:36.873 2.296
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 4 1:37.755 3.178
9 Lance Stroll Williams 7 1:38.393 3.816
10 Romain Grosjean Haas 2  
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas 2  
12 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1  
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1  
14 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 2  
15 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1  
16 Carlos Sainz Renault 2  
17 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 2  
18 Esteban Ocon Force India 2  
19 Sergio Perez Force India 1  
20 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 2