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
|1||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team||1:34.577|
|2||9||Marcus Ericsson||SWE||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team||1:35.000|
|3||35||Sergey Sirotkin||RUS||Williams Martini Racing||1:35.334|
|4||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Scuderia Ferrari||1:35.573|
|5||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||1:35.659|
|6||28||Brendon Hartley||NZL||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||1:36.151|
|7||27||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Renault Sport Formula One Team||1:36.873|
|8||7||Kimi Raikkonen||FIN||Scuderia Ferrari||1:37.755|
|9||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||Williams Martini Racing||1:38.393|
|10||8||Romain Grosjean||FRA||Haas F1 Team||No Time|
|11||20||Kevin Magnussen||DEN||Haas F1 Team||No Time|
|12||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||No Time|
|13||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||McLaren F1 Team||No Time|
|14||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||BEL||McLaren F1 Team||No Time|
|15||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||No Time|
|16||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||ESP||Renault Sport Formula One Team||No Time|
|17||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport||No Time|
|18||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Sahara Force India F1 Team||No Time|
|19||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Sahara Force India F1 Team||No Time|
|20||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport||No Time|