FP3 report |Charles Leclerc tops FP3 to become serious candidate for pole position

29-06-2019 12:00 | Updated: 29-06-2019 12:09
by Matt Gretton
Breaking News
FP3 report |Charles Leclerc tops FP3 to become serious candidate for pole position

Charles Leclerc has topped the final practice session of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. The Ferrari driver recorded the fastest time late on in the session using the soft tyres. 

The gap between the top six drivers is tight, with just 0.200 between P1 and P2, but Leclerc has made himself a serious candidate for pole position ahead of the Sunday's race in Austria. 

His teammate, Sebastian Vettel, couldn't get ahead of the two Mercedes cars 

Pierre Gasly radioed in reporting that his RB15 had lost power. He managed to limp back to the pits but it gave Red Bull and Honda some serious worries. Gasly made it back out on track towards the end of FP3. 

Max Verstappen didn't experience any problems after his crash in FP2 on Friday. He managed to record a P5. McLaren remains favourites to take the 'best of the rest' position', but Toro Rosso could ruin that depending on how badly Carlos Sainz is affected by his penalty. 

How it happened 

The session started slowly with hardly any cars on track in the opening 15 minutes but once the McLaren drivers started to clear the track, everyone else followed suit. Initially, Toro Rosso topped the timesheets before Bottas took over. 

As attacking as Bottas' lap was, it didn't keep him at P1 for long. Leclerc found some pace and went almost a second faster than his rival. Vettel couldn't beat his teammate. 

With Gasly having troubles, Verstappen took the reigns around Red Bull's home circuit. While he couldn't get into P1, he was just 0.05 seconds behind the leading Mercedes at the half-way stage. 

The big drivers came out with the soft tyres for the final 20 minutes and things got very close between Ferrari and Mercedes. Despite threats from Hamilton and Bottas, Leclerc maintained his place at P1.

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