Verstappen leads strong Red Bull 1-2 in final practice

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Max Verstappen comfortably led the final practice session ahead of Saturday's British Grand Prix qualifying at Silverstone, the Dutchman clocking beating his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez by 0.410s.

Behind the charging bulls, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc led the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz who rounded off the top six.

Forecasts called for a mixed day at Silverstone, but drivers took to a dry circuit midday for the final dress rehearsal before this afternoon's qualifying, although air temperatures stood at just 17°C while track temps were just under 25°C.

But traffic swelled at the outset as everyone was eager to boost their lap count and get down to work after Friday's half day of running due to a wet and useless FP1.

The opening 15 minutes of the session served to validate overnight changes, with drivers running on either the soft or medium compound.

But once everyone had settled in, Verstappen, setting the fastest time in sector 1 and 2, took charge, putting a 1m28.541s on the board on the softs that edged Ferrari's Leclerc by 0.319s while Friday's pacesetter Sainz tucked in behind his teammate.

Radio chatter pointed to a cloud of rain approaching the circuit, but the session continued with most drivers unbothered.

A good lap by a soft-shod Hamilton slotted the Briton into second just ahead of the two Ferraris while Russell stood P5, while Verstappen shaved a few more tenths off his fastest time.

As the session approached its final 15 minutes, the action ramped up. Russell went third, but pressing on, Verstappen broke into the 1m27s to leave his nearest rival almost half a second behind.

Perez couldn't match his teammate's best but nevertheless went second.

Eaves dropping on the radio transmissions, there appeared to be a clear difference in tyre deg between the Red Bull and Mercedes cars, with the bulls holding the advantage.

The session reached its conclusion with Red Bull addressing a clear warning to its rivals ahead of qualifying.

Behind the bulls, Leclerc, Russell and Hamilton completed the top-five, while Valtteri Bottas and Mick Schumacher were an impressive P8 and P9 respectively.

Fernando Alonso closed out the top-ten, the Spaniard followed by his Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon and Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel.

Also deserving of a mention, Alex Albon continued to refine the set-up of his upgraded Williams, setting the 14th fastest time.

AlphaTauri's troubled weekend showed little signs of improvement in FP3 with Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda sandwiching Aston Lance Stroll in P15 and P17.

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo was also among the session's laggards in P18, just preceding Nicholas Latifi and Haas' Kevin Magnussen.

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