Charles Leclerc bounces back to top rain-affected British GP FP3

Ferrari and Red Bull look set for an exciting 2023 British GP qualifying battle

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Charles Leclerc recovered from missing all of FP2 at the 2023 British Grand Prix to top a rain-affected FP3 session.

The session sets up an intriguing qualifying session with Ferrari and Red Bull looking closely matched but thanks to the weather bringing a premature end to flying laps.

That left a jumbled-up order behind Leclerc, with Max Verstappen the leading Red Bull in eighth at over eight-tenths behind the Monegasque driver and Sergio Perez 14th at 1.5s back.

Several teams – particularly Alfa Romeo and AlphaTauri – were hoping for a dry session to continue bedding in their upgrades but with the prospect of a wet qualifying in the afternoon teams had chance for some crucial preparation.

Lando Norris was the first to get back onto the slick tyres and was soon followed by the rest of the field, George Russell radioed in to change when it was spitting at corners 4-7 but dry elsewhere.

However, that was a brief respite and the rain soon returned leaving the field in intermediate conditions.

Leclerc back on track

Carlos Sainz in free practice for the 2023 British GP | Ferrari F1 Team

Charles Leclerc missed all of FP2 with an electrical issue on his Ferrari SF-23, but didn’t seem to have missed a beat after he was fifth-fastest in FP1.

Whisper it, but Ferrari look like they could battle Red Bull at least in qualifying, and maybe the race too. Carlos Sainz was just 0.022s behind Verstappen in FP2 too, after the Spaniard took pole position and victory in the 2022 British GP.

And they look clearly the best team in the battle for second-place in the constructors’ championship.

In contrast, Mercedes still look like they’re adapting to their new upgrades after complaining of low grip, Hamilton was the lead Brit in fifth and half a second behind Leclerc.

Meanwhile Russell was ninth and will look to improve for qualifying while Alonso was third behind surprise package Alex Albon, who continued Williams‘ impressive form at the Silverstone weekend.

Albon‘s teammate Logan Sargeant was seventh behind Pierre Gasly in fourth, Hamilton and Sainz in sixth while Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top 10.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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