Charles Leclerc tops Rain Affected Final Practice in Germany

Charles Leclerc - Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team - Hockenheimring
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Charles Leclerc took top spot in an Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team one-two in a very wet final practice session at the Hockenheimring on Saturday morning.

One nine drivers set lap times, with only one – Nico Hülkenberg – setting a time in the first part of the session before the rain got harder and everyone retreated to the garage.

It looked for a long time that the Renault Sport Formula One Team racer would end the session on top, but neither he nor his team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. – who suffered a spin during the early minutes as the conditions worsened – returned to the track for the last ten minutes as the majority of other drivers did.

As a result, Hülkenberg’s best time left him down in seventh position as Leclerc led Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson by 0.423 seconds, with the duo denying Williams Martini Racing’s Sergey Sirotkin his place at the top by almost eight-tenths of a second.

It was the first time Leclerc, tipped to join Scuderia Ferrari as soon as 2019, topped a session in his Formula 1 career, and for Sauber, it was a rare opportunity to see their drivers end first and second.

Both Ferrari drivers came out for a run at the end, with Sebastian Vettel placing fourth despite a couple of off track moments of his own, while Kimi Räikkönen was eighth.  The two Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda drivers were fifth and sixth, Pierre Gasly ahead of Brendon Hartley, with Hülkenberg, Räikkönen and Lance Stroll rounding out those who set lap times.

Everyone completed at least one lap, with Lewis Hamilton amongst the last to take to the track, completing, like a few others, just the one lap before returning to the pits.

Rain continues to fall at the Hockenheimring and with Qualifying just around the corner, it could be an interesting afternoon to see just who will take pole position for the German Grand Prix.

Hockenheimring Free Practice 3 Result

116Charles LeclercMONAlfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team1:34.577
29Marcus EricssonSWEAlfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team1:35.000
335Sergey SirotkinRUSWilliams Martini Racing1:35.334
45Sebastian VettelGERScuderia Ferrari1:35.573
510Pierre GaslyFRARed Bull Toro Rosso Honda1:35.659
628Brendon HartleyNZLRed Bull Toro Rosso Honda1:36.151
727Nico HulkenbergGERRenault Sport Formula One Team1:36.873
87Kimi RaikkonenFINScuderia Ferrari1:37.755
918Lance StrollCANWilliams Martini Racing1:38.393
108Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas F1 TeamNo Time
1120Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 TeamNo Time
1233Max VerstappenNEDAston Martin Red Bull RacingNo Time
1314Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren F1 TeamNo Time
142Stoffel VandoorneBELMcLaren F1 TeamNo Time
153Daniel RicciardoAUSAston Martin Red Bull RacingNo Time
1655Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPRenault Sport Formula One TeamNo Time
1777Valtteri BottasFINMercedes AMG Petronas MotorsportNo Time
1831Esteban OconFRASahara Force India F1 TeamNo Time
1911Sergio PerezMEXSahara Force India F1 TeamNo Time
2044Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas MotorsportNo Time