Verstappen led Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez by a comfortable 0.410s as he became the first and only driver to dip into the 1m27s, posting a 1m27.901s to head into qualifying at as the man to beat. 

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ended up 0.447s down on his main title rival, ahead of the two Mercedes of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in fourth and fifth.

Hamilton had got within two tenths of Verstappen before the Dutchman found significant gains as he unleashed rapid pace from his Red Bull. 

Russell could only get within 0.525s of Verstappen and ended FP3 just 0.062s quicker than Hamilton, who aborted a series of timed laps as he failed to improve on his best effort in the closing stages.  

Mercedes have been closer to the pace this weekend after bringing upgrades to their car, which is working better and bouncing less on Silverstone’s smoother surface. 

Russell said there was no bouncing during one of his runs, before later reporting it had returned, while Hamilton battled instability with the rear of his car through the high-speed sections. 

Behind both Mercedes in the second Ferrari was Carlos Sainz, who was 0.7s down. 

McLaren’s Lando Norris was 1.2s off the pace in seventh, ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas, Haas’ Mick Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, who pipped Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon to round out the top-10 order. 

Conditions remained dry throughout final practice but the threat of rain is set to increase in time for qualifying, which gets underway at 3pm UK time.