Austrian GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report

It's Bottas!

Valtteri Bottas, Austrian GP 2014

Valtteri Bottas, Austrian GP 2014 

 © Active Pictures


Valtteri Bottas beat the works Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and set the fastest time in Free Practice 3. Bottas' Williams-Mercedes teammate Felipe Massa posted the third fastest time, and Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat put his Toro Rosso in fourth place. Nico Rosberg, who had problems with the differential on his Mercedes, wound up fifth.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Centigrade.) There was a 0 percent chance of rain.

Adrian Sutil was first out in his Sauber followed by Williams man Felipe Massa.

8 minutes into the session, Kevin Magnussen posted the first lap time of FP3 – a 1:15.692 – in his McLaren. He soon lowered that to a 1:11.408. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) was in second spot with a time of 1:12.009, which he then put down to 1:11.998.

In the first part of FP3 the drivers were running Pirelli's soft compound slick with the yellow sidewalls.

13 minutes into the session, Magnussen was now on top with a 1:10.998 while Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) was second with a time of 1:11.438.

15 minutes into the session, and it was just like FP1 and FP2 with the drivers sliding off the track in Turns 1 and 8. One of them was Jenson Button who radioed the McLaren crew that his car had no engine braking at all. They told him to try setting "Orange E8."

18 minutes into the session, Massa took over the top spot with a 1:10.952, and he followed that up with a 1:10.633. His teammate Valtteri Bottas slid into second with a 1:10.658. Sutil, meanwhile, radioed in that he was struggling with the front tires.

21 minutes into the session, Bottas topped the times with a 1:10.641, and Massa responded with a 1:10.466.

Several drivers had yet to set a time including Red Bull teammates Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

25 minutes into the session, Bottas was number one again with a 1:10.430.

26 minutes into the session, Alonso jumped up to third with a 1:10.565.

Midway through FP3 the top six were: Bottas, Massa, Alonso, Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), Magnussen and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari.) Jean Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso), Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Vettel rounded out the top 10.

With 24 minutes remaining in the session, everybody and his brother had now been off the track at Turn 8 and/or Turn 1.

With 23 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg jumped to the front with a lap of 1:10.058.

With 20 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton moved into fifth with a time of 1:10.578.

With 15 minutes remaining in the session, Romain Grosjean (Lotus) was the only driver on track as the others prepared for their qualifying simulations on the super soft Pirelli slicks.

With 13 minutes remaining in the session, Hulkenberg went out on the super softs as Grosjean pitted.

With 10 minutes remaining in the session, Hulkenberg, who had been seventh with a 1:10.840, did a 1:11.227.

Now more and more drivers were out on the super softs.

With 9 minutes remaining in the session, Alonso took second with a 1:10.410.

With 8 minutes remaining in the session, the top three were: Rosberg, Alonso, and Bottas.

With 7 minutes remaining in the session, Alonso topped the times with a 1:10.054. Bottas beat that with a 1:10.008.

With 5 minutes remaining in the session, it was Massa in front with a 1:09.901.

With 4 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg took second with a 1:09.999.

With 3 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton posted a 1:09.898, just 0.003 faster than Massa.

Then Kamui Kobayashi spun off in Turn 9 in his Caterham.

With seconds remaining in the session, Bottas jumped in front with a 1:09.848.

The top 10 at the end of FP3 were: Bottas, Hamilton, Massa, Kvyat, Rosberg, Alonso, Ricciardo, Magnussen, Raikkonen and Vettel.

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