George Russell headed a Mercedes one-two as a rain-impacted FP3 session at Silverstone produced an British top three.

Russell won out against Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.035 seconds as they battled over P1 on a drying track, but the rapid gains came to a abrupt stop as the rain returned, with McLaren’s Lando Norris making it an all-British top three.

George Russell P1 as the Brits lock out top three

While the heavy rain which had battered Silverstone let up in time for FP3, that and the chilly conditions made for a very damp track as the light went green for the final hour of practice, with the track temperature a very cold 16 degrees Celsius.

The Haas cars ensured some early track action for the sea of fans braving it out, as Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen emerged on the intermediates, the Silverstone Circuit soon getting busier with Formula 1 challengers until all 20 drivers were circulating.

Verstappen went for an early spin at Brooklands, highlighting the lack of grip available out there, but Daniel Ricciardo was being told that the track “will improve quickly” with all the cars out there.

But the track-drying process was soon halted as Pierre Gasly triggered the red flags just under 10 minutes into the session after spinning off into the gravel at the Vale chicane.

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As the track soon returned to green, Ricciardo was noted for weaving in the pit lane, the stewards announcing that this strange case would be investigated after the session. His VCARB team-mate Yuki Tsunoda was setting the early pace on a 1:43.284, as Russell reported that the track was starting to dry out.

Nonetheless, conditions were still treacherous, Valtteri Bottas evidencing that as he spun his Sauber at Aintree.

But the lap times were tumbling and at the halfway point of FP3 it was Lewis Hamilton, who delivered an iconic Silverstone victory in the wet back in 2008, leading the way on a 1:38.065.

That was until Russell delivered a 1:37.529, Hamilton falling 0.035s short in his attempt to immediately strike back against his Mercedes team-mate.

But the threat of rain had not gone away and with 20 minutes to go, the drizzle moved in with VCARB telling Ricciardo to expect it to intensify.

Already, it was enough to put a stop to those green and purple sectors, minus Esteban Ocon, who was finding time, but so nearly found himself in the same gravel trap that team-mate Gasly got stuck in earlier, Ocon locking-up but just about steering his Alpine away from the hazard.

But for Mercedes it was all smiles as Russell headed a one-two from Hamilton, while McLaren’s Lando Norris made it an all-British top three on home soil.

FP3 times

1 George RUSSELL Mercedes 1:37.529
2 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.035
3 Lando NORRIS McLaren +0.185
4 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.610
5 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.864
6 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.925
7 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +1.125
8 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +1.411
9 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +1.755
10 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team +1.811
11 Alexander ALBON Williams +2.074
12 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +2.171
13 Logan SARGEANT Williams +2.173
14 Yuki TSUNODA RB +2.291
15 Valtteri BOTTAS Kick Sauber +2.713
16 Esteban OCON Alpine +2.901
17 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +3.010
18 Daniel RICCIARDO RB +3.294
19 Guanyu ZHOU Kick Sauber +4.256
20 Pierre GASLY Alpine NO TIME

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