A crescendo in action during FP3 saw home favourite Lewis Hamilton again top the time sheet, as a Marcus Ericsson crash also resulted in a red flag period.
Going slightly wide onto the turn 15 Astroturf, Ericsson then spun the car and crashed heavily into a barrier near the pit entry.
Of further note was the Ericsson’s steering wheel seen detaching and flying out of the cockpit mid-impact with the barrier.
Though appearing unhurt and walking away from the scene, the incident compounded Sauber’s financial woes – which again sees them miss the post-Silverstone test.
The initial moments of the session were defined by the damp track, as brief moments of action only consisted of instillation laps on intermediate/wet tyres.
In a bid to catch up on missing FP2, Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg was the first to set a dry tyre lap time, with a 1:33.591.
The time would then be bested by both Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, the aforementioned Briton’s only flying lap (1:31.234) provisionally topping the session.
Rosberg eventually separated Hamilton and Vettel with a 1:31.331, as the Red Bull’s of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo trailed by under four- tenths.
However, with the Ericsson incident, the session was suspended as marshals attempted to repair the damaged tyre barrier.
The session was restarted with five minutes to go, though Hamilton did not face a challenge as he made it a hat trick of Free Practice sessions at home.
Rosberg would improve his time with a minute to spare to a 1:30.967 on soft tyres, though this was again bested by Hamilton’s 1:30.904.
However late drama would see Vettel’s gearbox fail as he passed the finish line on his flying lap.
A gearbox change will mean the German will again face a five place grid penalty pending qualifying results.
Both the conditions and the Ericsson incident will favour Hamilton rather than his team-mate, who will go into qualifying with less than ideal mileage.