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British GP 2018

JULY 7, 2018

Practice 3 Report - Crash III

Lewis Hamilton, British GP 2018
© RV Press

By Dan Knutson in Silverstone

Practice for the British Grand Prix was punctuated by crashes. Romain Grosjean had an accident in Free Practice 1 on Friday morning, and Max Verstappen shunted in FP2 on Friday afternoon. Then in FP3 on Saturday morning Brendon Hartley had a nasty crash when the left front suspension shattered on his Toro Rosso. As for the rest of the drivers, Lewis Hamilton kept away from the barriers and posted the fastest lap time in FP3.

The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes – Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas; Ferrari – Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen; Red Bull TAG Heuer – Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen; Force India Mercedes – Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon; Williams Mercedes –Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin; McLaren Renault – Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne; Renault – Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz; Toro Rosso Honda – Hartley and Pierre Gasly; Haas Ferrari – Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen; Sauber Ferrari – Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton was fastest in FP1, and Vettel topped FP2 on Friday.

"Everything we put on the car seemed to work," Vettel said Friday. "It's a small step in the right direction, but more important was that the balance was there right away and I felt a good rhythm from the start of the day. For a change we had a good Friday and hopefully we can carry the momentum into tomorrow."

Vandoorne and Leclerc were the first out.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 60-minute session was 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Centigrade).

Verstappen, who had missed most of FP2 because of a crash, was anxious to get in some laps. It was a similar scenario for Grosjean.

Meanwhile, Raikkonen got things rolling with a lap in 1:27.607.

The session was red flagged 14 minutes in when Hartley had a left-front suspension failure and spun into the barriers at Brooklands at high speed. It had been a big accident but he was not injured. The team kept Gasly's car in the garage to inspect its suspension.

The restart came 13 minutes later. Only 33 minutes of track time remained, so everyone got down to work.

Hamilton, on the soft compound Pirellis, clocked a time 0.094 of a second slower than Raikkonen. Then the Brit beat the Finn with a time of 1:27.442.

Raikkonen, Vettel, Bottas, Leclerc and Verstappen rounded out the top six with 20 minutes to go.

But then Raikkonen came back with a lap in 1:27.199. Now more drivers were putting in their fast laps, including Bottas who turned a 1:27.364 to move into second with a dozen minutes remaining. Raikkonen then improved to 1:26.815 despite saying he had an issue with the car.

Hamilton then sped around in 1:26.722.

Missing from the action in the closing stages was Vettel who had a cramp in his neck and was getting a massage from his physio.

Nobody else crashed as the session wound down, and the top 10 at the end of it all were: Hamilton, Raikkonen, Bottas, Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Leclerc, Magnussen, Grosjean and Ericsson.