Austrian GP Practice Three: Sebastian Vettel ahead, brake woe for penalised Lewis Hamilton
Brake problems for already penalised Hamilton leave Mercedes with work to do before qualifying as Vettel and Ferrari top final practice
By James Galloway at the Red Bull Ring
Last Updated: 08/07/17 12:03pm
Sebastian Vettel hit the front at the Austrian GP in Practice Three as Lewis Hamilton's troubles worsened ahead of his five-place grid penalty.
A twist was thrown into this weekend's expected battle between the championship rivals late on Friday night when it was confirmed Hamilton would take a grid demotion for an unscheduled gearbox change.
Then, after being outpaced by Vettel by 0.269s in the low-fuel qualifying simulations of final practice, Hamilton's weekend suffered another setback when his car's front-right brake disc failed and his Mercedes went straight on into the gravel at Turn Three.
Mercedes say the relevant parts will be replaced in time for qualifying, which takes place at 1pm live on Sky F1, in a session in which Hamilton knows he can not qualify higher than sixth even if he sets the outright pace in Q3.
Hamilton lost minimal track time in the session, with the fault developing in the final minutes after a problem in the Mercedes' braking system triggered the disc failure.
Vettel set the P3 pace on 1:05.092 after going quickest through all three sectors of the short lap, with Valtteri Bottas third and Kimi Raikkonen fourth.
With Ferrari lowering the already record pace seen at the Red Bull Ring on Friday, the weekend's home team slipped over 0.6s off the pace with Max Verstappen in fifth and Daniel Ricciardo sixth.
In fact, the Ferrari-powered Haas cars finished within striking distance of the two Red Bulls with the American team maintaining their strong form for the opening day to finish seventh and eighth quickest.
With neither Force India nor Williams, teams which the circuit is expected to suit, finishing higher than 11th, Toro Rosso took the final two top-10 spots despite Carlos Sainz losing half the session when his Renault engine developed a fault on his out lap.
McLaren slipped out of the top 10, with lead runner Fernando Alonso's cause not helped by having to revert to Honda's 'spec two' engine after the Japanese manufacturer identified an MGU-H fault overnight. Stoffel Vandoorne continues to run the new power unit, but was only fractionally faster than Alonso.
|Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||Ultrasofts||+ 0.269|
|Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||Ultrasofts||+ 0.423|
|Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||Ultrasofts||+ 0.519|
|Max Verstappen||Red Bull||Ultrasofts||+ 0.692|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||Ultrasofts||+ 0.804|
|Kevin Magnussen||Haas||Ultrasofts||+ 0.844|
|Romain Grosjean||Haas||Ultrasofts||+ 0.923|
|Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||Ultrasofts||+ 1.187|
|Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||Ultrasofts||+ 1.192|
|Esteban Ocon||Force India||Ultrasofts||+ 1.282|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||Ultrasofts||+ 1.471|
|Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||Ultrasofts||+ 1.486|
|Jolyon Palmer||Renault||Ultrasofts||+ 1.503|
|Fernando Alonso||McLaren||Ultrasofts||+ 1.507|
|Lance Stroll||Williams||Ultrasofts||+ 1.684|
|Felipe Massa||Williams||Ultrasofts||+ 1.773|
|Sergio Perez||Force India||Ultrasofts||+ 1.783|
|Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||Ultrasofts||+ 2.286|
|Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber||Ultrasofts||+ 2.376|
Don't miss the Austrian GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 on July 9 - lights out for the race is at 1pm. Check out all the ways to watch F1 on Sky Sports for subscribers and non-subscribers - including a NOW TV day pass for £6.99!
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