Vettel fastest in final Austrian GP practice

Erica Murray
July 9, 2017

Bottas started qualifying knowing he was likely to be Mercedes's lead qualifier because teammate Lewis Hamilton was carrying a five-place grid penalty for an unscheduled gearbox change. "We'll try to make a good race".

"I'm pretty sure that back then there was a bigger difference in speed deltas between us and other cars so I think it's more unlikely than it was then", he said, "but I will give it everything I can and of course I would be happy if I could get up there".

Vettel hit the back of Hamilton's auto as they prepared for one of three restarts, damaging his front wing and the Mercedes' floor.

"I think you must try also to interpret the situation well". Valsecchi asked Hamilton and Vettel to shake hands after the race but it didn't happen.

Tight at the top as Bottas, Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel duked it out for provisional pole, with the Finn holding his position at the top of the rankings.

The bucolic calm that hangs over the Red Bull Ring circuit is set to be shattered this weekend, as title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel resume their battle for the championship after their controversial Baku crash in Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix.

"We had to swap out a spark plug during FP2 (the second session), but the guys did a great job to turn the vehicle around and we still managed to complete our programme", Hamilton said. We still have great pace and the auto has been fantastic here, so I know I've got the vehicle to do the job.

He said: "I thought we were looking strong and today it got away from us". "I can't wait for tomorrow, honestly!"

McLaren failed to put its upgraded Honda power unit in Stoffel Vandoorne's auto to good use as the Belgian finished 13th in Q2, just behind teammate Fernando Alonso who had been forced to revert back to the 'Spec 2′ engine earlier in the day following a problem.

TOP TEN: Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Romain Grosjean (Haas), Sergio Perez (Force India), Esteban Ocon (Force India), Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso). I got the auto to the limit and we'll now look at the weaknesses to improve.

Further back, McLaren slow progress was evidenced by Fernando Alonso in 12th place and Belgian team mate Stoffel Vandoorne in 13th, although only the latter was using the latest specification Honda engine.

It was a dismal day for Williams as they struggled for pace with Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll down in 17th and 18th places on the grid, faster than only the Saubers.

Other reports by Insurance News

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