Max Verstappen established himself as the clear favourite for pole position by proving himself the class act in final practice for the British Grand Prix.
The World Champion ended FP3 over four tenths of a second ahead of his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez after what had been, by his lofty standards, a relatively low-key Friday at Silverstone.
Although various drivers had expressed concerns after the Friday running about Saturday’s weather, FP3 began in dry conditions although windy – with Lance Stroll‘s engineer telling him at the outset to expect gusts of around 30kph.
McLaren – on the medium tyres rather than softs – and Alpine were the first teams to set flying laps but they were quickly eclipsed by Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, the latter having been fastest of all in FP2, before Perez, who had endured a difficult Friday, split the Ferrari duo.
Verstappen, on his first flying lap, then shattered Leclerc’s best time by almost half a second, just as a team radio message informed the Monegasque to expect a short spell of rain in around 15 minutes’ time. Sebastian Vettel, however, was told there would be no showers until right near the end of the session at the earliest.
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) July 2, 2022
Lewis Hamilton then began to build on the promise of his P2 result in FP2 by putting himself second again, only a tenth adrift of Verstappen, while his Mercedes team-mate George Russell briefly moved up to third in also doing his bit to indicate there could be a three-team fight for the front row of the grid even if the track was to stay dry.
But by the end of the FP3 session, in which the rain ultimately held off, it was the Red Bull pair on top ahead of Leclerc followed by Russell, Hamilton and Sainz.
Results: Third Practice (FP3) – 2022 British Grand Prix:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:27.901
2 Sergio Perez Red Bull 0.410s
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 0.447s
4 George Russell Mercedes 0.525s
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.587s
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 0.788s
7 Lando Norris McLaren 1.201s
8 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1.284s
9 Mick Schumacher Haas 1.609s
10 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1.619s
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1.651s
12 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1.692s
13 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1.851s
14 Alex Albon Williams 1.879s
15 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1.984s
16 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1.991s
17 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 2.138s
18 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 2.392s
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams 2.588s
20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 2.622s
Torquing Point: Verstappen controlling the championship
Henry Valantine and Sam Cooper discuss how unstoppable Max Verstappen is right now and if there is a chance anyone could catch him in the championship.