Austrian Grand Prix: Vettel usurps Mercedes in final practice

Sebastian Vettel was fastest in final practice for the Austrian Grand Prix as Ferrari overhauled Formula 1 rival Mercedes ahead of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring

Austrian Grand Prix: Vettel usurps Mercedes in final practice

Vettel emerged on top of a rapidly-changing battle between the two teams through the session to beat title rival Lewis Hamilton by just 0.029 seconds.

Valtteri Bottas lapped just over a tenth slower than Vettel but the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was a quarter of a second further off the pace.

Raikkonen was the first driver to set a flying lap and worked his way into the 1m04s before being usurped by Vettel by just 0.017s.

Bottas and Hamilton, who had traffic on his first flying lap, followed the Ferraris as the top four lapped barely a tenth apart, before Vettel pumped in a 1m04.699s.

Hamilton's next flier was 0.027s faster than that, before Bottas bested both on a 1m04.594s.

Vettel set a personal best but could not wrest back top spot and fell 0.006s short of Bottas's time at the end of the opening half an hour.

Hamilton and Raikkonen then wasted chances to go quickest, Hamilton sliding wide at the exit of the Turn 3 hairpin and Raikkonen skating across the gravel through the fast Turn 7-8 esses.

Raikkonen continued after that off and his next flying lap, completed without error, put him fastest on a 1m04.470s.

The succession of improvements continued though, and with 20 minutes to go Vettel returned to top of the pile on a 1m04.159s.

That briefly established a Ferrari one-two but Bottas ended that almost immediately with a time 0.045s slower than Vettel's.

The gap grew slightly when Vettel posted his final improvement, a 1m04.070s, with just over 15 minutes left, before Hamilton got back ahead of Bottas by a tenth.

With Ferrari and Mercedes engaged in a private battle at the top of the leaderboard, Red Bull ended up a distant fifth and sixth, 0.7s back.

Max Verstappen had a trip through the gravel on the exit of Turn 4 midway through the session but improved later on to get ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Verstappen's session then ended early when he ran slightly off-track again at Turn 4 and then pulled up on the right-hand side of the circuit, reporting his Renault engine had switched off. Initial reports from the team suggested an electrical problem.

Once the yellow flags were withdrawn following the recovery of Verstappen's car, Kevin Magnussen jumped to seventh in his Haas before team-mate Romain Grosjean edged ahead by a tenth.

They were the last drivers to lap within a second of Vettel as Renault's Carlos Sainz Jr and Charles Leclerc completed the top 10.

Leclerc prevented any final improvements in the last two minutes when he stopped his Sauber with a reported engine problem on the right-hand side of the circuit just after exiting the pitlane.

FP3 times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m04.070s - 22
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m04.099s 0.029s 24
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m04.204s 0.134s 24
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m04.470s 0.400s 22
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m04.791s 0.721s 14
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m04.891s 0.821s 18
7 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m04.916s 0.846s 17
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m05.013s 0.943s 16
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 1m05.086s 1.016s 22
10 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m05.219s 1.149s 25
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m05.228s 1.158s 19
12 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m05.264s 1.194s 25
13 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m05.444s 1.374s 21
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m05.448s 1.378s 19
15 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m05.502s 1.432s 24
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m05.699s 1.629s 27
17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m05.705s 1.635s 23
18 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m05.837s 1.767s 16
19 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m06.029s 1.959s 23
20 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m06.318s 2.248s 22


shares
comments
Formula 1 could rethink how it decides driver penalties
Previous article

Formula 1 could rethink how it decides driver penalties

Next article

Mercedes' Wolff says Honda will succeed in Formula 1 with Red Bull

Mercedes' Wolff says Honda will succeed in Formula 1 with Red Bull
The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season Plus

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season

It’s 13 down, nine to go as the Formula 1 teams pause for breath in the summer break. But what can we expect to happen over the next three months from Belgium to Abu Dhabi? Here's the key storylines to keep an eye out for the rest of the 2022 season

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream Plus

The inconvenient truth about F1’s ‘American driver’ dream

OPINION: The Formula 1 grid's wait for a new American driver looks set to continue into 2023 as the few remaining places up for grabs - most notably at McLaren - look set to go elsewhere. This is despite the Woking outfit giving tests to IndyCar aces recently, showing that the Stateside single-seater series still has some way to go to being seen as a viable feeder option for F1

Formula 1
Aug 17, 2022
How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge Plus

How a bad car creates the ultimate engineering challenge

While creating a car that is woefully off the pace is a nightmare scenario for any team, it inadvertently generates the test any engineering department would relish: to turn it into a winner. As Mercedes takes on that challenge in Formula 1 this season, McLaren’s former head of vehicle engineering reveals how the team pulled of the feat in 2009 with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Aug 15, 2022
The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Plus

The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate 
and devoid of the usual
 racing driver airs and graces,
 Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Plus

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Plus

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Plus

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time Formula 1 world champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24 into a winning car with Lewis Hamilton at the wheel. And now it’s happening again at his current team, but can the rate of progress be matched this year?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022