Vettel tops Hamilton and Bottas in final practice

Vettel flies around the Red Bull Ring
Vettel flies around the Red Bull Ring

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has well and truly taken the fight to Mercedes, breaking Lewis Hamilton's dominance and laying down a new lap record ahead of qualifying for the Austrian GP Saturday morning.

Vettel's lap of 1m04.070s was the fastest ever around the Red Bull Ring and only slightly faster than Hamilton (0.029s back) and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas (0.134s back).

Kimi Rakkonen put his Ferrari 4th while Max Verstappen rounded out the top-5 in his Red Bull before hitting trouble.

Red Bull look a little off the pace of Ferrari and Mercedes ahead – and will have work to do after Max Verstappen's seemingly power unit issue curtailed his session. "I can't [shift] everything is stuck," said the Dutchman. He was out of his car, which was been swiftly cleared by the marshals and the track went green with six minutes remaining.

Hot on the Red Bulls’ heels were the Haas cars of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen – the only cars to use anything but the ultrasoft tyres – and the Renault of Carlos Sainz.

Charles Leclerc was again in the top ten for Sauber, though like Verstappen, he ran out of drive near the end of the hour, the Ferrari protege reporting a suspected engine issue.

Spielberg’s punishing kerbs continued to keep the drivers on their toes, with Brendon Hartley falling prey as he lost a front-wing endplate from his updated Toro Rosso, and Stoffel Vandoorne picking up some minor damage on his McLaren.

Both men ultimately finished low down the order, with only the struggling Williams of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin behind them.

Practice 3 Times

POS NO DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:04.070 +0.000s 22
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:04.099 +0.029s 24
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:04.204 +0.134s 24
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:04.470 +0.400s 22
5 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:04.791 +0.721s 14
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:04.891 +0.821s 18
7 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:04.916 +0.846s 17
8 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:05.013 +0.943s 16
9 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:05.086 +1.016s 22
10 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:05.219 +1.149s 25
11 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:05.228 +1.158s 19
12 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:05.264 +1.194s 25
13 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:05.444 +1.374s 21
14 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 1:05.448 +1.378s 18
15 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:05.502 +1.432s 24
16 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:05.699 +1.629s 27
17 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso Honda 1:05.705 +1.635s 23
18 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 1:05.837 +1.767s 16
19 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:06.029 +1.959s 23
20 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:06.318 +2.248s 22

Leave a Reply