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Malaysian GP: Encouraging FP3 for Williams Martini

By Andrew Hooper
September 30 2017

The final practice session for the 2017 Malaysian GP would see the Williams Martini team produce an encouraging result with their drivers finishing in 8th and 12th. Felipe Massa was again ahead of team-mate Lance Stroll but the gap between the pair was just 0.2. It was looking very positive for qualifying with both drivers looking like they can make it into the final period. In the session it was worth noting that Lance spent a considerable amount of time running on the medium tyre possibly giving an indication on race strategy.

 Williams Martini Malaysian GP Saturday Practice

Team Summary:
The final practice session for the 2017 Malaysian Grand Prix would commence and quickly drivers would start to set times with Raikkonen going quickest with a 1m:32.665 running on the super soft tyre. Bottas would go second running on the same tyre. There was a mix of soft and super soft tyres been used as Ricciardo went third. Red Bull team-mate Verstappen was able to move into second with a 1m:33.324. Bottas was now fourth with Hamilton going fifth. Vettel was now second with a 1m:32.865 to be 0.2 behind his team-mate. Bottas would improve to now be third followed by Verstappen and Hamilton. Ocon and Perez were now seventh and eighth as Hamilton went quickest with a 1m:32.650, followed by Raikkonen and Vettel.

Hamilton would improve with a 1m:32.539 to remain fastest. With just under forty minutes remaining the order was Hamilton, Raikkonen, Vettel, Verstappen, Bottas, Ricciardo, Perez, Ocon, Alonso and Sainz tenth. Drivers would start to come out for their second runs and it would be Ricciardo who would go quickest with a 1m:32.091 with Bottas also improving to be second followed by Hamilton. But on his next run Vettel would also improve setting a 1m:32.042 to go quickest but quickly Raikkonen would move ahead with a 1m:31.880. With twenty minutes remaining the Williams drivers were now ninth and thirteenth.

Under ten minutes remaining and drivers were returning with the Williams drivers now ninth and tenth. But this would change as Vandoorne moved up to eighth and Magnussen eleventh. As the session drew to a close Vettel was told to stop his car seeing him pit. At the top of the times there was little changing with Raikkonen still quickest. Vettel was second followed by Ricciardo, Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, Perez, Felipe, Ocon and Vandoorne tenth. The Williams team would see their drivers in eighth and twelfth with Lance just 0.298 behind team-mate Felipe. It was looking very encouraging for qualifying with both drivers looking like they can make it into the final period.

Felipe Massa:
With ten minutes of the session completed Felipe had yet to come out. He was in his car and with fifteen minutes completed would finally take to the track running on the super soft tyre. Felipe was able to set a 1m:34.063 to be tenth. Felipe would lose part of his bodywork near the left bargeboards when he went wide over a kerb. Felipe would continue his run on the option tyre currently twelfth. Felipe was still out doing a race run on the super soft tyre having completed ten laps so far in the session. Felipe would pit after a thirteen lap run. With just over ten minutes left in the session Felipe would return on a new set of super soft tyres most likely for a qualifying simulation. Felipe was on a quicker lap for his first lap and he would set a 1m:33.585 to move up to ninth to be one place ahead of his team-mate. Felipe would drop to tenth as others went quicker. Felipe was able to improve to now be eighth with a 1m:33.240.

Lance Stroll:
Lance would take to the track on his installation lap running on the medium tyre. Lance would set a 1m:39.001 but was on the hardest tyre. Lance would continue his run on the medium tyre and would improve with a 1m:38.337 but had dropped to tenth. A 1m:36.808 from Lance but he was now thirteenth and slowest. But he would continue his run on the medium tyre now seventeenth and would pit after a run of nine laps. Lance was now twentieth but was the only driver to run on the medium tyre. With just under thirty minutes remaining Lance would return this time on the super soft tyre. Lance would set a 1m:33.817 to now be ninth. After an eight lap run Lance would pit. Lance was currently tenth dropping to twelfth. Like his team-mate Lance would return on a new set of super soft tyres. Despite been on new tyres Lance was now able to improve his lap time remaining in twelfth.

Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m31.880s 19
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.162s 14
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 0.211s 16
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.449s 24
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.659s 20
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 0.699s 17
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1.329s 20
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1.360s 20
9 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1.410s 21
10 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1.441s 16
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1.650s 17
12 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1.658s 21
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1.907s 10
14 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1.991s 14
15 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 2.044s 22
16 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Renault 2.326s 24
17 Jolyon Palmer Renault 2.595s 12
18 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 3.034s 19
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 3.056s 19
20 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 3.165s 19

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