Lewis Hamilton fastest in British GP final practice as Marcus Ericsson crashes

Marcus Ericsson
Qualifying is live on the BBC Sport website and 5 live Sports Extra

Lewis Hamilton edged team-mate Nico Rosberg in a final practice session at the British Grand Prix interrupted by a crash for Sauber's Marcus Ericsson.

The Swede lost control at the exit of the high-speed Stowe corner and spun into a heavy impact with the inside barriers but emerged unhurt.

He has been taken to hospital for a precautionary check-up.

Hamilton was 0.063 seconds ahead as the two Mercedes drivers continued their battle for championship advantage.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were fourth and fifth.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took fifth fastest time but banged his hands in frustration as he crossed the line and told the team he thought his gearbox had broken "again".

The four-time champion was hit with a five-place grid penalty at the last race in Austria because of an unauthorised gearbox change.

Fans British Grand Prix
Fans flocked to Silverstone for final practice, despite heavy rain

But Ferrari do not look to have any chance of matching Mercedes even without reliability problems - Vettel was 1.145secs off the pace.

Mercedes have a significant advantage over the field, with Ricciardo 0.584secs slower than Hamilton, who has topped all three practice sessions so far.

Hamilton is 11 points behind Rosberg in the championship and the two Mercedes drivers are racing this weekend under the threat of suspension or heavy fines if they crash together again after their last-lap collision in Austria.

Behind the top five, there was an impressive performance from Fernando Alonso in the McLaren-Honda, the Spaniard seventh fastest and only 0.018secs behind the Mercedes-powered Williams of Valtteri Bottas in sixth.

Honda have brought an upgraded engine to this race with a new induction system that improves combustion and is said to provide an extra 12kw (16bhp), as they seek to close the gap to rivals Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault.

Alonso's team-mate Jenson Button was 12th fastest, 0.288secs slower, the two McLarens split by Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz and Haas' Esteban Gutierrez.

The session started in damp conditions but dried up after about 15 minutes and the weather is uncertain with the possibility of further rain before qualifying starts at 13:00 BST.

Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton was only marginally ahead of rival Rosberg

British Grand Prix final practice results

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