SUPER SLICK VET: Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was fastest again during the third final practice of the 2015 Austrian GP on Saturday, June 20. Image: AFP / Joe Klamar
SPIELBERG, Austria - Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was fastest in a wet final practice for the Austrian GP on Saturday (June20) as McLaren's woes got worse.
Vettel lapped the Red Bull Ring in a best time of 1min09.994 seconds on a dry track and soft tyres before the rain began to fall halfway through the session and made the rest meaningless.
World champion Lewis Hamilton was second fastest for Mercedes, 0.017 slower, with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen third on the timesheets.
Nico Rosberg, Hamilton's team mate and 2014's winner in Austria when the race made its return to the calendar after an 11 year absence, was fifth.
The main talking point during the session, apart from the appearance of a hare on the track and the slippery conditions, was the totting up of engine penalties that left McLaren drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso in a race to be last.
Alonso was handed a 20-place grid penalty on Friday (June 19), for a change of his car's Honda engine that exceeded his season's allocation, and Button trumped that on Saturday with a 25-place drop.
The Spaniard, whose car stopped on the pit straight and brought out the red flags, is likely to match Button's penalty due to an expected gearbox change that would bring an additional five place drop - on a grid with only 20 cars.
The grid drops, embarrassing for the team with Honda president Takahiro Hachigo due to attend the race, will have to be taken in the form of additional time penalties.
2015 Austrian GP 3rd practice results
1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1min09.994
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min10.011
3 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min10.177
4 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India - Mercedes 1min10.221
5 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min10.332
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min10.408
7 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min10.417
8 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min10.436
9 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus - Mercedes 1min10.576
10 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Mercedes 1min10.863
11 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1min11.009
12 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber - Ferrari 1min11.058
13 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min11.139
14 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) RedBull - Renault 1min11.139
15 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1min11.168
16 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1min11.819
17 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber - Ferrari 1min11.906
18 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min12.616
19 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia - Ferrari 1min13.328
20 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia - Ferrari 1min13.960
2nd practice results
1st practice results