Charles Leclerc staged a much-needed recovery ahead of qualifying for the British Grand Prix although rain played a significant role in the final practice session at Silverstone.
A short-circuit issue on his SF-23 confined Leclerc to the garage for all of the second session in the afternoon, leading to him needing to play catch up in FP3 for which there was a 90 percent chance of rain.
Max Verstappen had topped the timesheet on Friday with a lap of 1:28.078s, but inside the first 14 minutes, both Carlos Sainz and Leclerc went quicker before Lewis Hamilton took over briefly with a 1:27.948s, with the trio all on soft tyres.
Hamilton's time was in stark contrast to Mercedes being “nowhere” on Friday, according to George Russell, which sparked an overnight simulator session from reserve Mick Schumacher which the former Haas driver concluded just after 2am.
Hamilton's lap, though, was soon usurped by Leclerc by half a second, an indicator the Scuderia had managed to add downforce, setting a time of 1:27.419s that ultimately proved to be the best of the hour-long session.
Alpine's Pierre Gasly and Fernando Alonso also popped in ahead of fifth-fastest Hamilton, with Sainz relegated to sixth ahead of Logan Sargeant in the radically improved Williams.
With the skies darkening, the rain started to fall after 22 minutes, just enough to force all the drivers in as the storms forecast on Friday ultimately failed to materialise.
A handful of drivers opted to try the intermediates, particularly with rain also set to potentially strike the grand prix on Sunday.
With no more dry running possible, the times remained unchanged from around the 20-minute marker.
It left Verstappen eighth quickest, 0.847s behind Leclerc, with his best lap set on the medium tyres. The Dutch driver was the only one in the top 10 on that compound, leaving Russell's soft-tyre time of 1:28.284s a concern for Mercedes as he was ninth.
AlphaTauri duo Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries, following a dismal FP2 as they were the two slowest, at least moved up the order to 10th and 11th quickest, both around a second off the pace.
McLaren's Lando Norris was 12th, although like Verstappen his leading time was on the medium tyres, but his team is under investigation as the Briton ran into difficulty just as the session started as he was forced to stop his MCL60 at the end of the pit lane.
It transpired a fan had been left on the car, resulting in a mechanic being forced to rush and collect it, albeit crossing the white line to do so.
Team-mate Oscar Piastri was 17th, two seconds adrift, with Aston Martin's Lance Stroll, Sergio Perez in his Red Bull, Haas' Kevin Magnussen and Esteban Ocon in his Alpine sandwiched between the two McLarens.
Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg were the slowest, although both were on the hard tyres, and with the latter six seconds down.
Zhou Guanyu finished bottom of the timesheet without a time to his name due to his Alfa Romeo encountering an issue.