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F1: FP3 Recap, Vettel's Ferrari Fastest on the Day

09 July 2017

"I'm sure Lewis (Hamilton) still has a lot of time to come back and get points for the team". There were more troubles for Hamilton as well: he will have to take a five-place grid penalty because his auto needed a new gearbox. "He slowly understood that he did (make) a big mistake and at least he assured me that it would never happen again", he said. He has not finished off the podium for two successive races since failing to reach the rostrum in the 2013 season finale in Brazil and the 2014 season opener in Australia.

"I have the supersoft for tomorrow", Hamilton confirmed.

Hamilton opted to run on the super-soft tyre in Q2, meaning he will start on that compound and can run longer than his direct rivals in the opening stint of the race - though the Briton downplayed the impact of having an advantage on tyre life.

"It should be a good fight tomorrow", said Bottas, who is third in the title race but trails Vettel by 42 points.

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Valtteri Bottas set the third-fastest time, less than one-tenth of a second behind Vettel, but the Finn picked up floor damage after losing control of his Mercedes early in the session and spinning through a gravel trap.

According to the men themselves, it is all water under the bridge now, but Hamilton appears to hold an enormous advantage over the championship leader at the Red Bull Ring.

"Pretty good day", he said Friday.

Red Bull, who have an excellent auto and two really great drivers in Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, still has a power penalty to pay.

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Dutch teenager Max Verstappen was fifth fastest at his Red Bull team's scenic home circuit with Australian team mate Daniel Ricciardo, victor of the dramatic previous race in Azerbaijan, sixth. Mercedes had already changed it once on his vehicle before that.

But his Williams teammate Felipe Massa hardly fared better and starts from 17th. Mercedes has been further ahead in qualifying at the last two races but Raikkonen said it was not a surprise to see the gap come down in Austria.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg only just failed to displace Ocon's Force India from the top 10 shootout in Q2, falling short by 0.047s.

It will take something special for Hamilton to win the 57th race of his career.

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A year ago the race was won by Hamilton from pole position, who also set the fastest lap at 1 minute 8.4 seconds. When they did, Vettel ended up second and Bottas fourth.

F1: FP3 Recap, Vettel's Ferrari Fastest on the Day