Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2019

Leclerc keeps Ferrari ahead as Mercedes struggle

2019 German Grand Prix third practice

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Ferrari completed a clean sweep of all three practice sessions for the German Grand Prix as Charles Leclerc headed the final hour of running before qualifying.

Leclerc consistently led the field throughout the session and set two laps quick enough to top the times. But Ferrari were denied a third consecutive one-two by Max Verstappen. The Red Bull driver split the two SF90s, lapping just a tenth of a second off Leclerc’s pace.

Sebastian Vettel was one of several drivers to have a lap time deleted for running beyond the kerb at the exit of the final corner. However his quickest time, a 1’12.644, stood and put him third, a quarter of a second behind his team mate.

Lewis Hamilton had his quickest lap time deleted for the same reason, which dropped him from fourth in the overall classification to sixth. Valtteri Bottas led the way for Mercedes, but was over half a second off Leclerc.

This was an unexpected development. While the track temperatures fell as forecast, from over 50C to no more than 40C, this failed to produce the anticipated progress by Mercedes.

The two W10s were split by Kevin Magnussen. This will give Haas further food for though as Romain Grosjean had been significantly quicker yesterday in the team’s old-spec car, while Magnussen continues to drive the newer version. Grosjean, however, had an engine glitch towards the end of the session.

Carlos Sainz Jnr put his McLaren seventh ahead of Pierre Gasly. The Red Bull driver was in a new chassis following his crash yesetrday and had a wheel-banging run-in with Grosjean at the final corner. Grosjean ended the session 10th behind Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo.

There was little sign Williams’ latest upgrade has moved them significantly closer to the pace. While the top 18 cars were covered by 1.4 seconds, the leading Williams of Robert Kubica was over three seconds off the pole position time. Kubica was also in a new chassis after a problem with his car was discovered overnight, while George Russell had to pit after floor damage was discovered on his FW42.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
116Charles LeclercFerrari1’12.38018
233Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’12.5480.16812
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1’12.6440.26418
477Valtteri BottasMercedes1’12.8900.51024
520Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’12.8930.51313
644Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’12.9650.58522
755Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’13.3000.92018
810Pierre GaslyRed Bull-Honda1’13.3240.94417
97Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’13.3510.97118
108Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’13.3780.99815
1111Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’13.4761.09615
1227Nico HulkenbergRenault1’13.4961.11619
1323Alexander AlbonToro Rosso-Honda1’13.5541.17424
144Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’13.5561.17615
1599Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’13.6711.29116
1618Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’13.6721.29215
1726Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’13.7671.38721
183Daniel RicciardoRenault1’13.8161.43620
1988Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’15.5403.16020
2063George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’15.8243.44411

Third practice visual gaps

Charles Leclerc – 1’12.380

+0.168 Max Verstappen – 1’12.548

+0.264 Sebastian Vettel – 1’12.644

+0.510 Valtteri Bottas – 1’12.890

+0.513 Kevin Magnussen – 1’12.893

+0.585 Lewis Hamilton – 1’12.965

+0.920 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’13.300

+0.944 Pierre Gasly – 1’13.324

+0.971 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’13.351

+0.998 Romain Grosjean – 1’13.378

+1.096 Sergio Perez – 1’13.476

+1.116 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’13.496

+1.174 Alexander Albon – 1’13.554

+1.176 Lando Norris – 1’13.556

+1.291 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’13.671

+1.292 Lance Stroll – 1’13.672

+1.387 Daniil Kvyat – 1’13.767

+1.436 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’13.816

+3.160 Robert Kubica – 1’15.540

+3.444 George Russell – 1’15.824

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Charles LeclercFerrari1’14.2681’13.4491’12.380-1.06976
2Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’14.3301’14.1331’12.548-1.58563
3Sebastian VettelFerrari1’14.0131’13.5731’12.644-0.92969
4Valtteri BottasMercedes1’14.6601’14.1111’12.890-1.22182
5Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’15.7591’15.4701’12.893-2.57768
6Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’14.3151’13.5951’12.965-0.6384
7Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’15.0621’14.6621’13.300-1.36282
8Pierre GaslyRed Bull-Honda1’14.8131’15.0891’13.324-1.48959
9Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’15.9531’14.4581’13.351-1.10777
10Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’15.0741’14.1791’13.378-0.80178
11Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’15.6041’14.5181’13.476-1.04269
12Nico HulkenbergRenault1’15.8231’14.4721’13.496-0.97668
13Alexander AlbonToro Rosso-Honda1’15.7771’15.0621’13.554-1.50884
14Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’15.6161’15.2471’13.556-1.69170
15Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’16.3821’15.4061’13.671-1.73578
16Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’15.1911’14.2681’13.672-0.59673
17Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’15.7761’14.8001’13.767-1.03390
18Daniel RicciardoRenault1’15.5671’15.0101’13.816-1.19476
19Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’16.5591’16.9801’15.540-1.01973
20George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’17.1261’16.9001’15.824-1.07661

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2019 German Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    7 comments on “Leclerc keeps Ferrari ahead as Mercedes struggle”

    1. * Your comment contained an incorrectly positioned apostrophe and has been deleted by the stewards *

    2. Immediately Croft is depressed, hard to watch f1 with Legard Crofty downing an interesting weekend amidst the biggest dominance in f1 history, fom will cook up something to ruin things.

      I think it looks tight at the top, Max like last year, looks to be a good bet for his maiden pole. Mercedes still favourite. what where they doing is a good question. I wonder whether Mercedes were trying to run a compromised set-up for Sunday’s predicted conditions.
      I don’t like the track limits ruling one bit. Don’t want the drivers to go 100% off track then don’t have the kerbing off track.

      1. I don’t like the track limits ruling one bit. Don’t want the drivers to go 100% off track then don’t have the kerbing off track.

        This. I hate it already and I’m sure I’ll hate it more as the weekend progresses and we see more penalties.

    3. Expecting to see Toto and Lewis do rain dancs between sessions.

    4. This should make for an excellent qualifying session with “best of the rest*” covered by just 0.5 seconds.

      * excluding Williams of course :-( Cripes, their performance is just depressing! Are both drivers now using all the updates?

    5. A Haas outrunning a Mercedes? (checks if he didn’t have a sunstroke after the hottest days in Dutch history). Wow. Will still be surprised to see such a thing happening in Q of course. Either way, for the sake of the sport I hope Merc maintaine not being on top this weekend.

      1. If Mercedes underperforms this weekend it won’t help the sport one bit. The sport needs the other teams to catch up.

    Comments are closed.