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Raikkonen Claims Top Spot in Free Practice 3 for Spanish GP

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished on top of the time sheets ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the 3rd Free Practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Raikkonen set a time of 1:20.214 to go 0.242s clear of team mate Vettel who set a 1:20.456 as his best time of the session. Although not the neatest lap from Raikkonen it was good enough to give him the top spot on the time sheets.

Vettel’s session was cut short after the team detected an issue with his telemetry data just as he was about to take to the track. The German stopped the car in the pit lane and was pushed back into the pits. Ferrari say that there was no real issue with the engine but parts will be changed as a precaution.

Finishing the session 3rd and 4th fastest was the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton was 0.381s off the pace after a few untidy laps. Bottas, who sat out most of the session after the team had found an electrical issue with his car after FP2, managed 4th fastest after coming out quite late in the session. The Finn is running the same engine he ran for the first 4 races of the season after the team opted to replace his engine last night after breaking curfew. The team found that the replacement engine had another issue with it which forced them to revert to the old engine.

The two Red Bull’s finished in 5th and 6th with Max Verstappen leading Daniel Ricciardo. In 7th fastest is the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg followed by the Williams of Felipe Massa in 8th.

Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso finished 9th fastest with Fernando Alonso in the McLaren in 10th.

Just missing out on a top 10 spot was Romain Grosjean in 11th in the Haas followed by his team mate Kevin Magnussen in 12th.

The Force India pair of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were 13th and 14th respectively. It didnt seem like they were struggling and we should see one of them make Q3.

While his team mate broke into the top 10, Daniil Kvyat in the second Toro Rosso could only manage 15th ahead of the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson in 16th.

Lance Stroll was 17th for Williams with Jolyon Palmer 18th for Renault.

Bringing up the rear was Stoffel Vandoorne in the McLaren ahead of Pascal Wehrlein in the Sauber.

It seems as though Ferrari have turned a corner with their setup and both drivers seem more comfortable in the car. Mercedes still look like they will have the upper hand come qualifying. It should be noted that the Red Bulls looked very strong in the final few corners and could be closer to the Ferrari’s in qualifying.




Photo credit: Scuderia Ferrari Formula One

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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