Lewis Hamilton gave Mercedes a clean sweep of Formula 1 practice for the British Grand Prix by leading the final session on Saturday morning ahead of qualifying, edging out championship rival Sebastian Vettel.
After finishing second behind teammate Valtteri Bottas in both sessions on Friday, Hamilton was able to bounce back and hit the front in FP3 before rain hit the final 20 minutes of the running.
Hamilton turned in a fastest lap time of 1:28.063 to finish just 0.032 seconds clear of Vettel at the front of the pack as Ferrari showed its hand following a quiet Friday.
Bottas was able to take third place in the second Mercedes, 0.074 seconds off Hamilton at the top, leaving things finely poised ahead of qualifying at Silverstone later in the day.
As Bottas has a grid penalty, the fight for pole is set to boil down to Hamilton and Vettel, acting as the latest chapter in their growing rivalry.
Kimi Raikkonen was able to make a step forward for Ferrari and finish six-tenths off the pace, taking P4 as Red Bull failed to get in a qualifying simulation.
Daniel Ricciardo could only take sixth ahead of teammate Max Verstappen in eighth, allowing Reanult’s Nico Hulkenberg to finish as the best of the rest behind the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers in P5.
Romain Grosjean was P7 for Haas, while Felipe Massa and Stoffel Vandoorne completed the top 10 behind Verstappen for Williams and McLaren respectively.
Drizzle in the final 20 minutes of the session meant that drivers were unable to make any gains or complete truly representative running late on, leaving the status quo at the top unchanged.
Qualifying for the British Grand Prix is live on CNBC and the NBC Sports app from 8am ET on Saturday.
Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.
Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.
He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.
“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”
Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.
In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”
Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.
Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.