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Ferrari 1-2 in 3rd Free Practice for Austrian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel put Ferrari at the top of the time sheets at the end of the 3rd Free Practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix.

In a session where teams were still finding the limits of their cars, Vettel put his SF16-H at the top of the time sheets early on in the session. He kept improving his time throughout. On his second stint on the ultra soft tyres he set a time of 1:07.098. His team mate Kimi Raikkonen set a 1:07.234, 0.136s off Vettel’s time.

Lewis Hamilton locked up 3rd fastest with a 1:07.308. Mercedes seemed to have been struggling with the high track temps. Their initial running saw heavy graining and blistering on their tyres. Nico Rosberg crashed out of the session after a rear suspension wishbone failure at the exit of Turn 2. This sent the German nose first into the barrier which spun him around where the rear of his car made contact with the barrier as well. Rosberg was up on Vettel’s time through the first sector.

After the session Mercedes confirmed that Rosberg would have to incur a 5-place grid drop for a new gearbox.

The Red Bull pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen finished 4th and 5th fastest respectively. The Williams pair finished 6th and 7th with Austria 2016_Rosberg FP3 CrashValtteri Bottas finishing ahead of Felipe Massa.

Nico Hulkenberg finished 8th fastest for Force India showing strong pace for the Silverstone based team.

McLaren, who chose not to run their radical new rear wing, finished 9th and 10th with Jenson Button finishing just ahead of Fernando Alonso.

We’re building up to a very close qualifying with Ferrari stepping up their game with their token engine upgrade and with Mercedes slightly off the pace. Although Rosberg was very quick through the first sector before the crash it’s tough to predict what his final lap time would be. Mercedes have a tough task of repairing Rosberg’s car before qualifying. It is expected that they will have it repaired before qualifying but it will be touch and go.

Both Vettel and Rosberg will drop 5-places down the grid after qualifying which should play into the hands of Hamilton, Raikkonen and the two Red Bulls.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:07.098s 20
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:07.234s 0.136s 26
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:07.308s 0.210s 20
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:07.639s 0.541s 22
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:07.761s 0.663s 22
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:07.814s 0.716s 23
7 Felipe Massa Williams 1:07.831s 0.733s 27
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:08.285s 1.187s 23
9 Jenson Button McLaren 1:08.304s 1.206s 19
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:08.327s 1.229s 17
11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:08.442s 1.344s 26
12 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:08.475s 1.377s 22
13 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:08.534s 1.436s 29
14 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:08.550s 1.452s 21
15 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:08.569s 1.471s 31
16 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:08.786s 1.688s 32
17 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:08.939s 1.841s 27
18 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:09.008s 1.910s 11
19 Rio Haryanto Manor 1:09.116s 2.018s 28
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:09.137s 2.039s 25
21 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:09.557s 2.459s 20
22 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:10.959s 3.861s 16

About Ritesh K Bhana

Ritesh likes to think he is a true Tifosi, but he still remains fair to other teams. He supports two other teams which are not Red Bull and McLaren. Follow Ritesh on twitter @Humanshield_1

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