Ferrari match Mercedes in final free practice

By on
F1 Grand Prix, GP Brazil, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagosbr

An extremely close third free practice session at Sao Paulo saw Valtteri Bottas edge out his Mercedes team mate by just three thousandths of a second. The battle for qualifying later today certainly looks intense, with both Ferraris only marginally behind.

With the top 4 packed together in just 0.058s, fifth fastest Daniel Ricciardo was a contrasting full second behind. It appeared like Red Bull did struggle in the cooler morning conditions, dropping them back into the midfield, rather than fighting with Ferrari.

That midfield battle itself also looks a close encounter, with positions 5 to 15th stretching only half a second.

Early on in the session, it was clear that Lance Stroll wouldn't enjoy much useful running in the session, as after only 10 minutes he rolled to a halt with a gearbox issue. A short Virtual Safety Car period followed until the stricken Williams FW40 was removed from the track. Stroll's engineers were meanwhile already preparing to switch his Mercedes engine and fit a new gearbox, a move that would cost him a 5-place grid penalty for Sunday's race.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:09.281-24
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:09.284+0.003s26
37Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:09.326+0.045s20
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1:09.339+0.058s21
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:10.244+0.963s14
614Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda1:10.288+1.007s15
711Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:10.322+1.041s21
831Esteban OconForce India Mercedes1:10.357+1.076s23
933Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:10.495+1.214s9
1055Carlos SainzRenault1:10.599+1.318s23
112Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Honda1:10.637+1.356s21
1219Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes1:10.671+1.390s14
1320Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:10.721+1.440s19
1427Nico HulkenbergRenault1:10.743+1.462s18
158Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:10.762+1.481s20
1610Pierre GaslyToro Rosso1:10.981+1.700s32
1728Brendon HartleyToro Rosso1:11.085+1.804s30
1894Pascal WehrleinSauber Ferrari1:11.126+1.845s25
199Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:11.480+2.199s27
2018Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes--1