Brazilian GP: Bottas pips Hamilton in a tight FP3 session

Valtteri Bottas set the pace in a tight Formula 1 final practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix as the top four were separated by just a fraction of a second

Brazilian GP: Bottas pips Hamilton in a tight FP3 session

The Mercedes driver clocked a 1m09.281s to finish just 0.003s clear of team-mate Lewis Hamilton at Interlagos.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was 0.045s off the pace in third, with team-mate Sebastian Vettel only a further 0.013s adrift in fourth.

Cool and overcast conditions greeted the teams on Saturday, with Ferrari focusing on the super-soft tyres and Mercedes the softs early on.

Raikkonen led the way initially, 0.040s ahead of Vettel, with Hamilton able to get within a couple of tenths.

When attention turned to qualifying-simulations, it was Raikkonen who went quickest, but he was soon deposed by Bottas, who inched ahead.

Back came Raikkonen with another improvement, only for Vettel to move ahead by just 0.060s.

Raikkonen shaved another few hundredths to reclaim top spot, only for Bottas to pip him in the closing stages.

Just 0.058s separated the top four drivers, with the fastest sectors split between Hamilton, Vettel and Bottas.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was the closest challenger, leaving it until the final few minutes to pump in the fifth fastest time, 0.963s off the pace.

Fernando Alonso was an impressive sixth for McLaren, with Force India's Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon separated by a 0.035s in sixth and seventh.

Max Verstappen survived a late spin late on, having taken too much of the exit kerb at the final corner, to finish ninth. Carlos Sainz Jr completed the top 10.

Felipe Massa, racing on home soil in F1 for the final time, was 11th quickest, but his last quick lap was scuppered because of Verstappen's spin.

His Williams team-mate Lance Stroll failed to complete a timed lap after stopping out on track early in the session, reporting a loss of power.

Stroll needs a new gearbox, which will mean a five-place grid penalty, and an engine change but he will avoid a penalty for the latter by re-using an old engine.

FP3 times

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 1m09.281s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 0.003s
3 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 0.045s
4 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 0.058s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 0.963s
6 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1.007s
7 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1.041s
8 Esteban Ocon Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1.076s
9 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1.214s
10 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault Sport F1 Team Renault 1.318s
11 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1.356s
12 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 1.390s
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1.440s
14 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport F1 Team Renault 1.462s
15 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1.481s
16 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault 1.700s
17 Brendon Hartley Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault 1.804s
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 1.845s
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 2.199s
20 Lance Stroll Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes -


shares
comments
Brazilian GP: Toro Rosso hits back at Renault over failures
Previous article

Brazilian GP: Toro Rosso hits back at Renault over failures

Next article

Robert Kubica set to test 2017 Williams F1 car in Abu Dhabi

Robert Kubica set to test 2017 Williams F1 car in Abu Dhabi
Load comments
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021