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F1 2015: Austrian GP – Vettel Tops FP3

Red Bull Ring - Austrian Grand Prix

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel topped the timing sheets at the end of the third free practice session ahead of the Austrian grand prix.

The running around the Styrian circuit got underway in cloudy conditions and with the Mercedes pairing of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton trading fastest laps. However, the emergence of Sebastian Vettel from his pit garage put him to the top of the timing sheets with a 1:09:994 on the yellow-walled soft tyre. Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top three.

As the weather started closing in several drivers including Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson was put out on the red supersoft tyre in order to complete an early qualifying simulations. Alas, it wasn’t to be as Fernando Alonso’s McLaren grinded to a halt, with a gearbox issue, on the start/finish straight and brought out the red flag.

The session was quickly re-started with both Mercedes and Ferrari queuing at the end of the pitlane but by now the rain had started tipping down. The Force India pairing of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez dared to go it on intermediate tyres but quickly returned to the pits after rendering conditions to slippery.

A slight lull in on track action preceded several drivers venturing out on both the intermediate and full wet Pirelli tyres. It wasn’t in vain either as qualifying has a 49% chance of being wet.


Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:09.994
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.017s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +0.183s
4 Sergio Perez Force India +0.227s
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes +0.338s
6 Felipe Massa Williams +0.414s
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams +0.423s
8 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso +0.442s
9 Pastor Maldonado Lotus +0.582s
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus +0.869s
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India +1.015s
12 Marcus Ericsson Sauber +1.064s
13 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso +1.145s
14 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull +1.145s
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren +1.174s
16 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +1.825s
17 Felipe Nasr Sauber +1.912s
18 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda +2.622s
19 Will Stevens Marussia +3.334s
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia +3.966s

About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

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