Williams signaled their intent with a strong showing in the final Free Practice of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend, as Valtteri Bottas claimed top spot on the timing screens and teammate Felipe Massa ended up third fastest in the 60 minute morning session at red Bull Ring.
Bottas’ best time of 1:09.898 was only 0.053 of a second faster than Massa, with Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes splitting the Martini backed cars on the timing sheets his best time was 0.050 of a second down on Bottas and a mere 0.003 of a second up on Massa suggesting a big qualifying battle for top spot on the grid.
Rookie Daniil Kvyat was fastest of the Renault powered brigade, impressing with the fourth best time while his Toro Rosso teammate Jean Eric Vergne could only manage the 13th fastest time. He was over a second down on the Russian.
Up next was championship leader Nico Rosberg, ahead of Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari whose teammate Kimi Raikkonen ended the session in ninth.
Canadian GP winner Daniel Ricciardo was faster than Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull camp, the pair ending up seventh and tenth respectively.
Kevin Magnussen was eighth fastest, but on the other side of the McLaren garage Jenson Button’s car was troubled with brake problems which kept him off track for most of the session. He managed only four recorded laps in the hour.
Red Bull Ring is unanimously liked by the drivers, providing a challenge to get the perfect lap in. Anything less can be punished and thus there were several big moments where cars were airborne and perilously close to the wall.
The short lap means there is very little between the drivers, and as a result, a second separated the top 12, which bodes well for fans as Qualifying and even the race should be a close contest throughout the field. (GP247)
Austrian Grand Prix, Free Practice 3 – Saturday, 21 June 2014
|7||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:10.392||0.544||19|
|10||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:10.562||0.714||21|
|11||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:10.683||0.835||22|
|15||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1:11.235||1.387||18|