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FP3: Bottas fastest as Ferrari turn the heat up

  • Published on 11 Nov 2017 15:01
  • comments 1
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Valtteri Bottas ended the final practice session from Interlagos as the fastest man with a lap time of 1:09.281. The Finn led a Mercedes one-two, as teammate Lewis Hamilton ended in second place, a very close three-thousandths of a second behind.

However, Mercedes' margin over its rivals from Friday running seems to have diminished somewhat, as both Ferrari's lurk close behind. Kimi Raikkonen was third, less than a tenth down on Bottas, while Sebastian Vettel was fourth with a time of 1:09.339.

It was an underwhelming session for Red Bull, with team boss Christian Horner confirming that the team was saving engine mileage ahead of qualifying. Daniel Ricciardo ended the session in fourth, almost a second slower than the fastest time set in the session.

Max Verstappen had a troublesome 60 minutes. The Dutchman complained of understeer while out on the track and was upset by the balance of the RB13. His mood was dampened even further when he spun exiting the final corner due to taking too much kerb.

Fernando Alonso will be encouraged by the pace of his McLaren after the final practice session, as he emerged as the sixth fastest driver. He headed both Force India's of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon who were seventh and eighth respectively. Carlos Sainz rounded out the top ten.

Stoffel Vandoorne was eleventh ahead of Felipe Massa, who will drive his final home qualifying session later today. Behind Massa was Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean. Grosjean and Massa were spotted exchanging hand signals during the session out on track, as both were frustrated with each other

The Toro Rosso's of Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley were sixteenth and seventeenth, as a war brims between the Red Bull junior team and engine supplier Renault. The Sauber pair were next, with Pascal Wehrlein heading Marcus Ericsson.

Lance Stroll ended the session in last as he was forced to abandon his car early on. His gearbox appeared to fail shortly after the commencement of the session, complete with a puff of smoke and a violent shuddering noise.

 

Fergal Walsh

BR Interlagos - 11 November 2017

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  • Lets hope Ferrari can be this close for the rest of the weekend

    • + 0
    • Nov 11 2017 - 15:15

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  • Country Finland
  • Date of b. Aug 28 1989 (33)
  • Place of b. Nastola, Finland
  • Weight 70 kg
  • Length 1.73 m
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