Aus GP: Vettel fights back in FP3

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Bethonie Waring, Mar 25, 2017.

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  1. Bethonie Waring

    Bethonie Waring

    Vettel Aus.jpg Sebastian Vettel heads into qualifying the fastest of anybody at Albert Park after topping the times in FP3.

    The Ferrari driver set a 1m23.380, beating the track record and bringing the fight back to Mercedes after Lewis Hamilton dominated the Friday running.

    Hamilton was only able to manage third fastest, a fraction of a second slower than team-mate Valtteri Bottas, though the Brit did make a mistake on his flying lap. There was no time for a second run as the red flag was brought out ten minutes before the end of the session.

    Lance Stroll crashed into the wall at turn 10 with ten minutes until the end of the session, bringing out the red flag. The rookie hit the wall side on after losing the right rear, and the car wasn’t cleared in time for the session to be restarted. He will receive a new gear box for qualifying.

    Behind the Ferraris and the Mercedes, it was Nico Hulkenberg who was “best of the rest”. Team-mate Jolyon Palmer had problems during the session, complaining that he was struggling with rear stability and that his brakes were losing their “bite”.

    Another rookie that almost ran into trouble was Antonio Giovinazzi. The Italian will compete in the Australian GP for Sauber, after Pascal Wehrlein pulled out of the race. The German felt he wasn’t fit enough to complete the entire race distance because his winter training had been limited.

    Though Wehrlein insisted this wasn’t a reoccurrence of the back problems that saw him pull out of the first preseason test, it is a direct consequence of the Race of Champions crash, as it was this injury that limited his training programme.

    “The injury took me a step backwards, of course, and now I’m just catching up,” Wehrlein told reporters at the track.

    “I felt like everything was ok, but just not for the whole race distance. You never drive under race circumstances, and yesterday in the car in the long run you feel it more than in testing or in shorter runs.”

    Giovinazzi finished the session slowest, more than a second slower than team-mate Marcus Ericsson.

    Full order:

    1. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:23.380
    2. Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes – 1:23.859
    3. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:23.870
    4. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:23.988
    5. Nico Hulkenberg – Renault – 1:25.063
    6. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:25.092
    7. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:25.581
    8. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:25.948
    9. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso - 1:26.049
    10. Kevin Magnussen – Haas – 1:26.138
    11. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:26.237
    12. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:26.269
    13. Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:26.457
    14. Fernando Alonso – 1:26.556
    15. Stoffel Vandoorne – McLaren – 1:26.699
    16. Esteban Ocon – Force India – 1:27.103
    17. Lance Stroll – Williams – 1:27.327
    18. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1:267.402
    19. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1:28.320
    20. Antonio Giovinazzi – Sauber – 1:28.583
    For more Formula One news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum and join in with your fellow community members.

    Is this a sign Ferrari could challenge? Do you think Wehrlein made the right decision? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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