British Grand Prix – Free 3: Max Verstappen ahead of Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) and Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

Max Verstappen rarely stays two days in a row. Reserving Friday for lack of time to tour the stages of his Red Bull, the reigning world champion resumed his favorite place, the first, during the free practice 3 of the British Grand Prix, on Saturday at the Silverstone circuit.

Thanks to a lap completed with “soft” tires in 1’27 “901 in the 45th of the 60 minutes of testing, with the best partials of the three sectors in play, the Dutchman distanced himself from the competition, first his teammate Sergio Pérez., Then the Ferraris and Mercedes, but also Lando Norris’ McLaren, at the helm on Friday.

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At the controls of an RB18 still devoid of porpoise, the Batavian left “Checo” Pérez’s single-seater sister at 0 “410” and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari at 0 “447, discrepancies that can be considered substantial.

Mercedes, hope then doubt

In the match the day before, Mercedes did not respond to the Austrian and Italian machines until the end. The timeline shows George Russell in fourth with 0.525 and his teammate Lewis Hamilton in fifth, with 0.587, but we shouldn’t stay here. During the first series of qualifying simulation laps, Lewis Hamilton gave the answer to Max Verstappen approaching the reference time achieved by the Batavian (1’28 “386) to 0” 102 “, with also the best intermediate time in sector 3 .

And during the second attempt, the seven-time world champion stopped his turn twice in the first sector. “Bounce a lot”, he explained on the radio, ten minutes later. In fact, the W13 No. 44, hitherto stuck to the ground, was affected by front axle instability.

Interestingly, the situation deteriorated for the Silver Arrows riders during the session. George Russell first reported that there were “no bounces” in the 22nd minute, he then reopened his radio channel to report “a touch of rebound at the entrance of n ° 6“21 minutes later.

Sainz and Norris lower the category

Mercedes lurking without knowing what the English public has in store for them in the classification (from 4pm), Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), on the other hand, has clearly taken a step back in terms of position. “The problems we had yesterday have not been resolved”, immediately explained the Spaniard, who on Friday moved from the top of the table to sixth place on Saturday. 0.788 behind the # 1 Red Bull.

Also in the fight the day before (3rd in free practice 2), Lando Norris (McLaren) also suffered a drop in finishing seventh, at 1 “201, one breath ahead of Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) and 0” 4 for in front of the amazing Mick Schumacher (Haas), who only has four Grand Prix to save his place, and the veteran Fernando Alonso (Alpine).

We must therefore look at the second part of the classification to find in the race the two Frenchmen, who have left to live a very different weekend. In fact, if Esteban Ocon (Alpine), eleventh, has every chance of moving into Q3, Pierre Gasly is desperately staying away from the mark. Only 15th, the Rounais continues to suffer from the lack of competitiveness of his AlphaTauri, like his teammate Yuki Tsunoda, located two positions behind him.

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