Sebastian Vettel has ended the third and final practice session of the Austrian Grand Prix fastest, just 0.017 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes. Kimi Raikkonen was a tenth of a second behind in third.
Both Hamilton and Rosberg were fast early in the session, although Vettel quickly demoted the pair setting a time two-tenths of a second ahead of Hamilton.
Sergio Pérez was the highest of the Force Indias in fourth, as he was able to put two laps in on the Super Soft tyre.
Halfway through the session the red flag came out when Fernando Alonso’s McLaren stopped on track with a suspected gearbox problem. The stoppage came at a bad time as drivers were preparing to put on the Super Soft tyre and complete their qualifying simulations.
The session resumed after five minutes and a small line of cars queued at the pit lane exit. Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel, Kimi Räikkönen and Max Verstappen were eager to get running on the Super Soft tyres, however they were out of luck as the rain started to fall as they were on their out lap.
Once the rain had settled in, Nico Hülkenberg was the first to venture out onto the track on intermediate tyres. He was quick to return to the pits citing that the track had no grip at all.
After a five-minute lull, Carlos Sainz Jr. was the first to put on the wet compound tyre and test the grip of the track’s surface. Vettel quickly joined him, choosing to use the intermediate tyres, which proved to be a risky decision as he struggled to keep his Ferrari on the track.
Eventually most of the drivers took to the track on full wets, with the Lotus and Manor Marussia pair opting to stay in the garage. Hamilton also decided against running in the wet while team-mate Rosberg put two laps in.
Qualifying for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix begind at 14:00 local time (GMT +2).
|Formula 1 Grosser Preis von Österreich 2015 – Free Practice 3 Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:09.994||16|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:10.011||+ 0.017||16|
|3.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:10.177||+ 0.183||12|
|4.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:10.221||+ 0.227||14|
|5.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:10.332||+ 0.338||23|
|6.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:10.408||+ 0.414||18|
|7.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:10.417||+ 0.423||14|
|8.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:10.436||+ 0.442||23|
|9.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:10.576||+ 0.582||12|
|10.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:10.863||+ 0.869||8|
|11.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:11.009||+ 1.015||14|
|12.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:11.058||+ 1.064||22|
|13.||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:11.139||+ 1.145||18|
|14.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:11.139||+ 1.145||14|
|15.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:11.168||+ 1.174||13|
|16.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:11.819||+ 1.825||10|
|17.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:11.906||+ 1.912||9|
|18.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:12.616||+ 2.622||16|
|19.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:13.328||+ 3.334||14|
|20.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:13.960||+ 3.966||8|
Image via XPB Images