Ferrari's Charles Leclerc stays ahead in Austrian GP FP3

Charles Leclerc in action for Ferrari F1 at the Austrian Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc maintained his position atop the timesheets during final practice for Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari racer moved to the front as drivers completed their runs on Soft tyres, before he became the first person to dip into the 1:03s.

Leclerc, having been just 0.010s in front of Lewis Hamilton, extended his advantage to 0.143s with a time of 1:03.987s on his second push lap on the softest tyre compound.

Hamilton maintained second spot while Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas claimed third, with the squad having repaired his W10 overnight in the wake of his heavy crash on Friday.

Sebastian Vettel was fourth for Ferrari, ensuring that the leading quartet were separated by just 0.263s.

Red Bull took a low-key fifth and seventh, with Max Verstappen comfortably ahead of team-mate Pierre Gasly, split by McLaren’s Lando Norris, as the Renault-powered squad continued its encouraging form.

Carlos Sainz Jr., who will start from the back owing to a power unit change, was eighth, ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi and the Toro Rosso duo of Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon.

Nico Hulkenberg – facing a five-place grid penalty – took 12th, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, while Romain Grosjean was the lead Haas driver, as he split the Racing Point drivers.

Daniel Ricciardo was a subdued 17th, ahead of only Kevin Magnussen and the Williams drivers, with George Russell six-tenths off the Haas driver and Kubica another eight-tenths down at the rear.

Magnussen is poised for a five-place grid penalty due to Haas needing to change his gearbox.

Saturday’s qualifying session is scheduled for 15:00 local time

Austria - Practice 3

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Flag   Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:03.987 18
2 Flag   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:04.130 0.143 21
3 Flag   Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:04.221 0.234 23
4 Flag   Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:04.250 0.263 20
5 Flag   Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:04.446 0.459 18
6 Flag   Lando Norris McLaren 1:04.986 0.999 19
7 Flag   Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:05.152 1.165 15
8 Flag   Carlos Sainz McLaren 1:05.219 1.232 22
9 Flag   Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:05.336 1.349 17
10 Flag   Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:05.391 1.404 25
11 Flag   Alexander Albon Red Bull 1:05.481 1.494 29
12 Flag   Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:05.514 1.527 21
13 Flag   Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1:05.514 1.527 21
14 Flag   Sergio Perez Racing Point 1:05.523 1.536 18
15 Flag   Romain Grosjean Haas 1:05.620 1.633 20
16 Flag   Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:05.650 1.663 17
17 Flag   Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:05.878 1.891 19
18 Flag   Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:06.017 2.030 11
19 Flag   George Russell Williams 1:06.676 2.689 23
20 Flag   Robert Kubica Williams 1:07.484 3.497 23