Sebastian Vettel set the best time in the final practice session ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring in Austria before the rain came.
Scuderia Ferrari driver Vettel set a best time of 1m09.994s early in the session on the Soft Pirelli tyre, but the rain meant none of the front-runners could set a time on the faster Supersoft tyre.
Lewis Hamilton was second fastest for Mercedes AMG PETRONAS, just 0.017s back on Vettel’s time, while the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen ended the session in third.
Sergio Perez was one of a handful of drivers who ran the Supersoft tyre during the session, and ended an encouraging fourth for the Sahara Force India team ahead of the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg. Perez had earlier suffered a rim-related puncture during the session.
Felipe Massa was sixth quickest in the leading of the Williams Martini Racing entries, just 0.009s ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas, while Max Verstappen of Scuderia Toro Rosso was only a further 0.019s back in eighth.
The two Lotus F1 Team drivers completed the top ten, with Pastor Maldonado ahead of Romain Grosjean.
A number of drivers took to the track late in the session with the Pirelli full wet rain tyres to acclimatise themselves to the track in these conditions with rain forecast to possibly affect the qualifying session as well.
Fernando Alonso’s troubled weekend continued, with the McLaren-Honda driver stopping on track with apparent gearbox issues on the pit straight to cause a red flag. The Spaniard is already facing a twenty-place grid penalty for an engine change this weekend, but could face more penalties if his gearbox needs changing as well.
Red Bull Ring Free Practice 3 Result
|4||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Force India-Mercedes||1m10.221s|
|8||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Toro Rosso-Renault||1m10.436s|
|11||27||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Force India-Mercedes||1m11.009s|
|13||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||ESP||Toro Rosso-Renault||1m11.139s|
|14||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Red Bull-Renault||1m11.139s|
|16||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Red Bull-Renault||1m11.819s|