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FP3: Leclerc leads Verstappen as Mercedes struggles

  • Published on 27 Jul 2019 13:01
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Charles Leclerc has ended the final practice session from the German Grand Prix on top as Mercedes struggled to keep up with Ferrari.

Track limits came into effect in the session, with multiple times being deleted throughout the 60 minutes. Race control opted to enforce track limits overnight, policing the first and final corners.

Max Verstappen was second for Red Bull, with his quickest lap over a tenth and a half down on Leclerc's time of 1:12.380, which is 1.2 seconds faster than his session-topping FP2 time on Friday.

Sebastian Vettel was third as he prepares for qualifying at his home Grand Prix, over two-tenths down on his teammate's time.

Mercedes endured a frustrating session, with Valtteri Bottas ending up over half a second off the pace in fourth.

Kevin Magnussen had an impressive session, as his time was 0.003 away from the Mercedes of Bottas. Magnussen is running the upgraded version of the Haas car this weekend, while Grosjean continues to run the old-spec.

Lewis Hamilton had his first lap on his final run deleted for exceeding track limits, before he set another time on the same tyres, popping himself into sixth.

Behind the five-time world champion saw a tantalisingly close fight between the midfield teams and Pierre Gasly, who returned to the circuit following his crash on Friday.

Carlos Sainz headed the midfield battle in seventh place, but just half a second separated the pack all the way down to 18th place.

Gasly was eighth for Red Bull while Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean rounded out the top ten. Renault will be hoping for better fortunes come qualifying, as its highest place car was Nico Hulkenberg in 12th, behind Sergio Perez.

Daniel Ricciardo was the slowest of the midfield runners, ending the session in 18th and ahead of only Williams.

Extensive work was being done to the Williams cars during the session, with Robert Kubica in 19th place 1.7 seconds down on Ricciardo in front.

Photos Germany 2019

DE Hockenheimring - 27 July 2019

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