Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2017

Vettel puts Ferrari on top as Stroll crash ends practice

2017 Australian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel put Ferrari on top of the times ahead of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix with a record-breaking lap of Melbourne.

The four-times world champion broke his own record time of the Albert Park circuit with a lap of 1’23.380 in his Ferrari which left him almost half a second clear of the Mercedes drivers.

Win this genuine, race-used F1 rear wing endplate
Win this genuine, race-used F1 rear wing endplate
Neither Valtteri Bottas nor Lewis Hamilton were able to beat Vettel’s time with their own runs on the ultra-soft tyres. Hamilton lost time in the middle sector of the lap having gone fractionally quicker than Vettel through the first sector, and was unable to beat his best time from yesterday.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest after taking a trip down an escape road due to a left-rear puncture earlier in the session.

The final hour of practice ended earlier when new Williams driver Lance Stroll hit the wall at the exit of turn ten. A flick of oversteer tipped the FW40 into the barriers. Stroll got out of his car without injury.

It was a double setback for Williams as Felipe Massa had already headed for the pits after reporting a worsening problem with his brakes.

Nico Hulkenberg put his Renault in a strong fifth place ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. The second Red Bull of Max Verstappen could only manage 12th.

Haas improved by one place on their Friday showing as Romain Grosjean took seventh. However he continued to complain about front lock-ups in his VF17. Team mate Kevin Magnussen also broke into the top ten, the pair separated by the Toro Rossos.

Antonio Giovinazzi managed 18 laps for Sauber having taken over from Pascal Wehrlein ahead of the first qualifying session of 2017.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1’23.38012
277Valtteri BottasMercedes1’23.8590.47912
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’23.8700.49012
47Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’23.9880.60810
527Nico HulkenbergRenault1’25.0631.68310
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’25.0921.71215
78Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’25.5812.20111
855Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’25.9482.56811
926Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’26.0492.66911
1020Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’26.1382.75811
1119Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’26.2372.85715
1233Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’26.2692.8897
1311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’26.4573.07712
1414Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’26.5563.1767
152Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda1’26.6993.3199
1631Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’27.1033.72316
1718Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’27.3273.94712
189Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’27.4024.02210
1930Jolyon PalmerRenault1’28.3204.94012
2036Antonio GiovinazziSauber-Ferrari1’28.5835.20318

Third practice visual gaps

Sebastian Vettel – 1’23.380

+0.479 Valtteri Bottas – 1’23.859

+0.490 Lewis Hamilton – 1’23.870

+0.608 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’23.988

+1.683 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’25.063

+1.712 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’25.092

+2.201 Romain Grosjean – 1’25.581

+2.568 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’25.948

+2.669 Daniil Kvyat – 1’26.049

+2.758 Kevin Magnussen – 1’26.138

+2.857 Felipe Massa – 1’26.237

+2.889 Max Verstappen – 1’26.269

+3.077 Sergio Perez – 1’26.457

+3.176 Fernando Alonso – 1’26.556

+3.319 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’26.699

+3.723 Esteban Ocon – 1’27.103

+3.947 Lance Stroll – 1’27.327

+4.022 Marcus Ericsson – 1’27.402

+4.940 Jolyon Palmer – 1’28.320

+5.203 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’28.583

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Sebastian VettelFerrari1’25.4641’24.1671’23.380-0.78757
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’24.2201’23.6201’23.870+0.2568
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1’24.8031’24.1761’23.859-0.31771
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’25.3721’24.5251’23.988-0.53756
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’24.8861’24.6501’25.092+0.44261
6Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’25.2461’25.0131’26.269+1.25634
7Nico HulkenbergRenault1’26.1831’25.4781’25.063-0.41561
8Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’26.4501’25.0841’25.948+0.86469
9Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’26.1681’25.4361’25.581+0.14560
10Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’26.5141’25.4931’26.049+0.55675
11Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’26.2761’25.5911’26.457+0.86676
12Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’27.1161’26.0001’26.556+0.55644
13Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’27.6671’27.2791’26.138-1.14139
14Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’26.1421’26.3311’26.237+0.09549
15Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’27.6561’26.1451’27.103+0.95876
16Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’27.3481’26.4981’27.402+0.90469
17Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’26.7341’26.5251’27.327+0.80268
18Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda1’28.6951’26.6081’26.699+0.09156
19Pascal WehrleinSauber-Ferrari1’28.5391’26.91952
20Jolyon PalmerRenault1’28.5851’27.5491’28.320+0.77122
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber-Ferrari1’28.58318

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “Vettel puts Ferrari on top as Stroll crash ends practice”

  1. Well, this changes everything (hopefully)

    1. Hopefully Ferrari will be able to give a fight when it matters – the Qualifying.. Game on..

  2. I want to be hopeful, but I just can’t. I’m guessing the Mercs can do a sub 1.23 😶

  3. Alrighty then

  4. Marc Saunders
    25th March 2017, 4:04

    I am surprised by Merc. clients FI and WI. they are back while Renault looks impressive.

  5. So yesterday Hamilton ended the day half second faster than the nearest driver. A class of his own they said. Already won the championship they said.

    So now Vettel is half a second faster in final practice and all I can said is…

    …Race On.

    1. … and with Bottas closing on Hamilton at over a half second a day, I think it’s safe to say he should be about 2 minutes a lap faster than Lewis come Abu Dhabi.

    2. Going by the F1F experts yesterday, doesn’t that just mean Vettel has the championship in the bag?

  6. I’m actually quite happy to see BOT competitive with HAM, thats the worst case scenario from FP3, the great news is VET’s pace and also HULK in the Renault, amazing… Could Renault leap frog all the mid-pack runners and come in as 4th best car

    1. I think they will need more than a pinch of reliability to achieve that.

  7. ShadesOfWhite
    25th March 2017, 4:10

    Don’t get too excited. Vettel’s time is slower than the time Hamilton set yesterday.

    1. No it’s not, otherwise it wouldn’t be a new record! See the ‘Combined practice times’ table.

  8. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    25th March 2017, 4:16

    I guess Stroll Sr. will keep writing fat cheques to let Jr. be forgiven. He bins the cars at a faster rate than what the mechanics can do to fix it.

    1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      25th March 2017, 4:19

      … and @keithcollantine maybe you can go near the Williams garage to see if we can have more prices.

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        25th March 2017, 4:21

        Prizes (I’m drowsy but I can’t miss the quali, which starts at 1am here. And working tomorrow).

    2. 2 cars per weekend. He is going to bin it lap 18 +/- 2 laps. So a budget the size of Ferrari may be required.

  9. Ferrari topping, Stroll crashing… Sounds like Barcelona testing all over again..

  10. The real eye opener for me is the difference between Hulkenberg and Palmer. I’ve never been all that convinced by Palmer, but to be over 3 seconds slower is a total shellacking.

    1. Do you actually think the difference between Hulkenberg and Palmer is 3.5 seconds, given,

      1) Palmer set a 1:27.5 in FP2, which is .8s faster then today,
      2) Hulkenberg aet his time on Ultra Softs right when teams were starting to do their qualifying sims?

    2. Was palmer on a quali preperation at all? It almost looks like he was running only race preparation when we look at that gap.

      1. @bascb he was focusing on race prep to make up for the missed time in fp2 yesterday. he was planning to do a quali run at the end of the session but didn’t get the chance due to the red flag.

  11. Strolldonaldo confirmed…

    1. Well, he hasn’t taken out someone else yet…
      Nor has a barrier moved to hit him yet.

  12. MG421982 (@)
    25th March 2017, 5:01

    This is encouraging. Surprised by Renault in P5, although the gap to VET is kinda huge. Could be that Renault will be the 4th force this year?! Williams and Force India don’t look that good.

  13. BOT quicker than HAM though. Hey all you guys from yesterday, this one’s for you😉

  14. didn’t see people heaping criticism on bottas when he did the same thing stroll did today during the 2014 race.
    didn’t see people criticism hamilton when he had a few accidents during his initial days in an f1 car back in late 2006/early 2007.

    lance is young & inexperienced in an f1 car & at this track. he’s the reigning fia f3 champion so he’s clearly got talent, give him time & don’t heap criticism on him for every little error. if he hasn’t shown the speed & makes a regular habit of binning it by the end of the year then the level of criticism he’s currently getting (i’ve seen many calling for him to be replaced already) will be fair.

  15. Glad to see the Hulk getting back in the zone. I felt he was just getting bored at Force India over the last couple of seasons.. and I’m sure he’s gonna be stellar at Renault this year.

  16. I see that Stroll will be taking a grid penalty for a gearbox change. Is this another rule that needs to be changed?

  17. All the comments before now have been either very misguided or premature at best. Thats why I have just sat and watched because in the next 1 hour, the question will surely be answered.

Comments are closed.