Sebastian Vettel has shown his credentials as a threat to claim pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix after going quickest in final practice at the Red Bull Ring.
By contrast, Friday pace-setter and his main championship rival Lewis Hamilton finished second-quickest, but suffered a worrying brake failure late in the session.
Hamilton was trying to chase down Vettel’s session-topping effort of 1:05.092 when he appeared to suffer a front-right brake disc failure on approach to Turn 3. The Englishman slid up the escape road and narrowly managed to avoid any major damage to his Mercedes, but the incident will give the team cause for concern ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session.
The problem threatens to compound the five-place grid penalty Hamilton will serve on Sunday’s race for an unscheduled gearbox change.
Traffic played a major role in the session with many drivers appearing to get in each other’s way over the course of the hour-long session. Behind the leading duo came their respective teammates, with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen claiming third- and fourth-fastest on the timesheets.
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen was the session’s early pace-setter on U;tra Soft tyres, but fell to fifth as others improved on their qualifying-style runs. The Dutchman once again edged out teammate Daniel Ricciardo, although the gap between them was just one-tenth of a second.
The two Haas Ferraris enjoyed a strong session, with Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean claiming seventh and eighth respectively. Both drivers, however, seemed to feature heavily in holding up faster cars during the session.
Continuing a rather Noah’s Ark formation, the two Toro Rosso entries rounded out the top ten, with Daniil Kvyat finishing ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. It was an impressive session from Sainz, who lost half of the session when his STR12 stopped on track on its out-lap with an engine cut-out. The marshals managed to recover his car to the pits, where the team was able to restart his car so he could rejoin the action.
After featuring inside the top ten on Friday, both McLarens slipped down the order. Stoffel Vandoorne was quicker in thirteenth place, while teammate Fernando Alonso – who reverted to Honda’s ‘Spec 2’ power unit overnight after his upgraded motor developed a MGU-H issue – was two spots behind.
Saturday’s qualifying session in Spielberg will begin at 14:00 local time (GMT +2).
|FORMULA 1 GROβER PREIS VON ÖSTERREICH 2017 – FREE PRACTICE 3 RESULTS|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Tyre||Laps|
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF70H||1:05.092||18|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08||1:05.361||21|
|3.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W08||1:05.515||19|
|4.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF70H||1:05.611||19|
|5.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13||1:05.784||23|
|6.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB13||1:05.896||28|
|7.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17||1:05.936||21|
|8.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team Ferrari VF-17||1:06.015||21|
|9.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12||1:06.279||27|
|10.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR12||1:06.284||19|
|11.||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10||1:06.374||25|
|12.||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team RS17||1:06.563||17|
|13.||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren-Honda MCL32||1:06.578||17|
|14.||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team RS17||1:06.595||22|
|15.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren-Honda MCL32||1:06.599||19|
|16.||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40||1:06.776||21|
|17.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW40||1:06.865||23|
|18.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM10||1:06.875||27|
|19.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36||1:07.378||20|
|20.||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C36||1:07.468||24|
Image via Scuderia Ferrari