Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Vettel narrowly leads Hamilton as fault halts Verstappen

2018 Austrian Grand Prix third practice

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Sebastian Vettel broke Mercedes’ monopoly of the top spot in practice for the Austrian Grand Prix, beating Lewis Hamilton to the best time by less than three hundredths of a second.

Vettel’s best time of 1’04.070 was over a tenth of a second faster than last year’s pole position time and a new track record for the Red Bull Ring. However Hamilton came close to beating it with his last flying run.

Valtteri Bottas backed Hamilton up, a tenth of a second behind in the other Mercedes. Kimi Raikkonen, who ran wide at turn seven during one of his flying laps, took fourth place.

The Red Bull pair were next but only one of them was still running at the end of the session. Verstappen came to a stop at the exit of turn four after his RB14 became stuck in fourth gear.

While the top six all used ultra-soft tyres, the Haas pair preferred super-softs and used them to lead the midfield fight. Romain Grosjean was just a couple of hundredths slower than Daniel Ricciardo.

Carlos Sainz Jnr and Charles Leclerc joined them in the top 10. However the Sauber driver also came to a stop at the end of the session after reporting a problem with his car.

Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly narrowly missed out on places in the top 10, indicating the fight for a place in Q3 will be fierce when qualifying begins in two hours’ time. However Gasly’s team mate Brendon Hartley suffered a setback when he broke his left-hand front wing endplate on a kerb.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1’04.07022
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’04.0990.02924
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1’04.2040.13424
47Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’04.4700.40022
533Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’04.7910.72114
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’04.8910.82118
78Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’04.9160.84617
820Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’05.0130.94316
955Carlos Sainz JnrRenault1’05.0861.01622
1016Charles LeclercSauber-Ferrari1’05.2191.14925
1127Nico HulkenbergRenault1’05.2281.15819
1210Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’05.2641.19425
1331Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’05.4441.37421
1414Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Renault1’05.4481.37819
1511Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’05.5021.43224
169Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’05.6991.62927
1728Brendon HartleyToro Rosso-Honda1’05.7051.63523
182Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Renault1’05.8371.76716
1918Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’06.0291.95923
2035Sergey SirotkinWilliams-Mercedes1’06.3182.24822

Third practice visual gaps

Sebastian Vettel – 1’04.070

+0.029 Lewis Hamilton – 1’04.099

+0.134 Valtteri Bottas – 1’04.204

+0.400 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’04.470

+0.721 Max Verstappen – 1’04.791

+0.821 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’04.891

+0.846 Romain Grosjean – 1’04.916

+0.943 Kevin Magnussen – 1’05.013

+1.016 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’05.086

+1.149 Charles Leclerc – 1’05.219

+1.158 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’05.228

+1.194 Pierre Gasly – 1’05.264

+1.374 Esteban Ocon – 1’05.444

+1.378 Fernando Alonso – 1’05.448

+1.432 Sergio Perez – 1’05.502

+1.629 Marcus Ericsson – 1’05.699

+1.635 Brendon Hartley – 1’05.705

+1.767 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’05.837

+1.959 Lance Stroll – 1’06.029

+2.248 Sergey Sirotkin – 1’06.318

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Sebastian VettelFerrari1’05.1801’04.8151’04.070-0.745104
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’04.8391’04.5791’04.099-0.48100
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1’04.9661’04.7551’04.204-0.551105
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’05.7761’05.2651’04.470-0.79595
5Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’05.0721’05.1251’04.791-0.281104
6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’05.4831’05.0311’04.891-0.1488
7Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’06.0281’05.4291’04.916-0.51386
8Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’06.4041’05.5591’05.013-0.54680
9Carlos Sainz JnrRenault1’06.4271’05.9991’05.086-0.91389
10Charles LeclercSauber-Ferrari1’06.2151’06.0961’05.219-0.87786
11Nico HulkenbergRenault1’06.4791’06.2731’05.228-1.04596
12Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’06.3941’05.7581’05.264-0.49492
13Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’06.0551’06.1331’05.444-0.611104
14Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Renault1’06.6121’06.4291’05.448-0.98182
15Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’06.4551’06.3541’05.502-0.852114
16Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’06.4001’06.1991’05.699-0.588
17Brendon HartleyToro Rosso-Honda1’06.8711’06.3321’05.705-0.627123
18Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Renault1’06.6981’05.9301’05.837-0.09393
19Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’06.5671’06.6261’06.029-0.53899
20Sergey SirotkinWilliams-Mercedes1’06.3261’06.318-0.00871
21Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’07.42438

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2018 Austrian Grand Prix

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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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15 comments on “Vettel narrowly leads Hamilton as fault halts Verstappen”

  1. Too close to call. Unless it rains, then its Hamilton for sure.

    1. Don’t forget Ferrari party mode is more potent than Mercedes. It’s a repeating episode this year Ferrari will be sandbagging on Friday and come up to the top or nearing to the pole.

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      30th June 2018, 12:58

      Sounds like you are saying you are certain it will be Hamilton until the rain comes. I assume you mean the other way round.

      1. Not so sure. It sounds more like Hamilton belongs to a certain ‘it’ ;-)

    3. Why did vettel almost took the pole in Malaysia (wet) with an inferior redbull in 2014 and did the same in the also inferior Ferrari of 2015… Wet again.. super mercedes+supposed master of the rain barely took the pole, I “think” if it rain.. it could be max or vettels pole

  2. Interesting that the top 6 is exactly the same order as last year, and the 7,8th placed guys (Haas) just switched around; though this time Mercedes is a lot closer to Vettel, and Raikkonen also a bit, while Red Bull is about a tenth further away, with Haas about the same ~.9s behind Vettel.

    With Bottas having got pole last year, I think it will be an interesting three way fight for pole. @invictus I don’t see a real chance of rain (2-4%?), do you?

  3. yea because only hamilton has ever won a race or topped qualifying in the rain since he joined F! SMFH

  4. Vettel and the two Mercedes separated by just a tenth of a second, plus a fiercely competitive midfield group… should be a good qualifying session.

    1. Pole position will go down to who’s party mode is the best in Q3. Midfield is definitely interesting. Haas should be best of the rest but both Renaults, one Toro Rosso and one Sauber look pretty strong as well.

      Hoping McLaren makes it out of Q1. Don’t see either of them qualifying higher than P13 though.

      1. @todfod Would be fun to see both McLarens dropped in Q1 IMO. Serves them right.

  5. Why TR Honda always better than MCL?

  6. Wow, Leclerc again.

  7. Hartley, Stroll, Ericsson and Sirotkin do not belong in F1. It makes a mockery of the brand position of the sport.

    1. For Stroll and Sirotkin it can very well (also) be the car.
      Even Kubica mentioned that,

      1. Not trying to argue or disagree, just wanted to add that it’s in Kubica’s self-interest and he’s actually paid to say that. Plus look at what cars he’s comparing that Williams to.

Comments are closed.