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#SpanishGP: Bottas misses most of final practice, Raikkonen fastest

2017-05-13 12:41

FLYINNG FINN: Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen drives during the third practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya, the Finn was the fastest man on track. Image: AFP / Tom Gandolfini

Montmelo -  Valtteri Bottas' hopes of adding to his maiden Formula One win ran into mechanical problems Saturday as Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time ahead of qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Bottas managed just eight minutes of the final practice.

Mercedes said that after it fixed an electrical problem in the power unit of Bottas' car, the team was forced to change the engine altogether due to a water leak. Mechanics hurriedly replaced his car's engine with the one Bottas had used through the first four races, including last round's victory at the Russian GP.

Fourth fastest

When Bottas finally emerged onto the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, he rose to fourth, just behind teammate Lewis Hamilton, at 0.654 seconds off pacesetter Raikkonen.

Bottas ran well through Friday's two practice sessions, clocking the second-fastest times behind Hamilton in both.

Trailing Mercedes throughout Friday, Ferrari hit back with the top two times heading into qualifying.

As it happened: Spanish GP - 3rd Practice

Raikkonen's best effort of 1 minute, 20.214 seconds was followed closely by F1 leader Sebastian Vettel at 0.242 seconds slower. Both times were faster than Hamilton's quickest lap from Friday.

Shortly before Bottas got onto the track, Vettel's Ferrari stopped in the pit lane and was rolled back by his team. The Italian outfit said that they had stopped the car for precaution when they detected a "telemetry issue."

Like Friday, Red Bull pair Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth.

With two wins in four races, Vettel leads Hamilton by 13 points in the standings. Bottas, who replaced retired champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes this season, is another 10 points adrift.

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