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Verstappen sets daunting pole marker, Mercedes in the hunt

Verstappen sets daunting pole marker, Mercedes in the hunt

Verstappen sets daunting pole marker, Mercedes in the hunt

Verstappen sets daunting pole marker, Mercedes in the hunt

Max Verstappen set a daunting marker ahead of British Grand Prix qualifying with a blistering lap in final practice.

The reigning world champion set a lap time of one minute, 27.901secs to finish 0.410s ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez and top FP3 for the first time since the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc finished a further half-a-tenth adrift in third for Ferrari as teams were afforded a dry session despite the threat of rain in the weather forecast.

Verstappen had set alarm bells ringing with a lap four-tenths faster than anyone on his first run of the session, but Lewis Hamilton soon battled back to within a tenth of the Dutchman.

Crucially for Mercedes, the bouncing that has plagued the team's season up to now, though not eradicated, was notably reduced throughout the hour of running - the W13 riding much smoother through Copse, Maggotts, Becketts and Stowe in comparison to the Ferraris.

But as the track surface ramped up with the sun peeking from behind the dark grey clouds covering the Silverstone circuit, Verstappen asserted his dominance over his rivals.

George Russell eventually finished ahead of team-mate Hamilton with Mercedes fourth and fifth ahead of the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz.

McLaren made a late switch to soft tyres and saw Lando Norris jump to the best-of-the-rest position in seventh, some five-tenths down on the top six.

Valtteri Bottas wound-up eighth for Alfa Romeo, ahead of Mick Schumacher for Haas and Alpine's Fernando Alonso who rounded out the top ten.

But all could change during qualifying with the chance of rain set at 50 per cent.

British Grand Prix final practice results:

1. Max Verstappen [Red Bull] 1:27.901secs

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. Guanyu Zhou [Alfa Romeo] +1.851s

14. Alex Albon [Williams] +1.879s

15. Pierre Gasly [AlphaTauri] +1.904s

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

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