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Austrian GP: Williams Martini continues to struggle in FP3

By Andrew Hooper
July 8 2017

The final practice session for the 2017 Austrian GP would see the Williams Martini team again struggle to find pace from their FW40. The session would see the teams drivers only manage 16th and 17th. Friday practice had seen concerns rasied about the balance of the car even with the upgrades brought to the circuit. The only positive thing from the session was the fact that Lance Stroll would finish ahead of his more experienced team-mate Felipe Massa. But it can only be said that given the current pace the Williams team is going to having a difficult qualifying session.

 Williams Martini Austrian GP Saturday Practice

Team Summary:
The Williams Martini would would commence the final practice session in Austria with both cars running the updated parts brought for the weekend. With the start of the session drivers would come out on a variety of tyres completing their installation laps. Sainz would stop exiting the pits with an engine related problem. His car would be moved away by the marshals. Drivers would continue to come out onto the track. Fifty minutes remaining and neither Williams driver had come out with Verstappen going quickest with a 1m:06.387, running on the ultra soft tyre. He was followed by Ricciardo and Kvyat all on the same tyre.

Palmer was now third followed by Kvyat, Ocon, Alonso and Perez. A 1m:06.082 from Verstappen would see him lower his quickest time with forty five minutes remaining. Bottas would move up to fourth on his first run. The top three would all pit and with thirty eight minutes remaining Vettel would go second with a 1m:06.036 while Verstappen had also improved with a 1m:06.015. After their first runs the Williams drivers were currently fourteenth and sixteenth. Hamilton would go quickest with a 1m:05.929 but Bottas would go ahead with a 1m:05.726. But Vettel would move ahead with a 1m:05.384. Both Williams drivers were over two seconds off the quickest time.

Thirty minutes remaining and the top ten was Vettel, Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Kvyat, Palmer, Magnussen, and Ocon. Of the teams only Hass and Sauber were using the super soft tyre. Thirty minutes remaining and both Williams cars were in their pits. Sainz's car had been repaired and would move up to tenth. Bottas was back out on a new set of ultra soft tyres joined by Vettel and Hamilton. Bottas would set a 1m:05.561 to close the gap to Vettel. Twenty minutes remaining and both Williams cars were still in their pits. Hamilton would go quickest with a 1m:05.361 while Vettel could not improve remaining second and Bottas third. But Vettel would respond going fastest in sector one and two. But he would back out of the lap having hit some traffic. But he would push again going quickest with a 1m:05.092 to go quickest.

Raikkonen was in fourth followed by Verstappen, Ricciardo, Sainz, Kvyat, Hulkenberg, and Vandoorne tenth. Hamilton would go off at Turn three but was able to continue with his left front with a flat spot. Grosjean would move up to sixth becoming eighth. Team-mate Magnussen was in sixth behind Ricciardo. Raikkonen was fourth while Verstappen would improve to be fifth. For Williams their final runs would see them down in sixteenth and seventeenth as the session came to an end. A disappointing session for the Williams team seeing them really struggling despite the upgrades that they brought.

Felipe Massa:
It was revealed that the floor on Felipe's car badly damaged in Friday's practice having gone over the kerbs. Felipe would be first out in the session for Williams running on the ultra soft tyre. His first lap would see a 1m:07.635 to be ninth then eleventh. Felipe was one place ahead of his team-mate. Felipe would drop to fourteenth behind Hulkenberg. This would become sixteenth one place ahead of his team-mate. Felipe had set a 1m:07.434 which would see him one second off the pace in the final sector. Felipe continued to lap on the ultra soft tyre and was able to set a 1m:07.279 to move up to fifteenth. One one of his laps Felipe would hit the kerbs at Turn one.

Felipe was told that he could pit and would come in after a twelve lap run. In the pits Felipe would drop to seventeenth. Eleven minutes remaining and Felipe was back out on a new set of ultra soft tyre. Felipe would set a 1m:06.881 but this would only see him sixteenth. Felipe would drop to eighteenth. In his final run Felipe would set a 1m:06.865 to be seventeenth.

Lance Stroll:
Lance would take to the track also using the ultra soft tyre. Lance's first time was a 1m:07.943 to be twelfth. He would drop to thirteenth behind Hamilton. This would become sixteenth then seventeenth. Lance's current time was a 1m:07.591. Lance would pit after a twelve lap run on the ultra soft tyre. Lance was currently eighteenth. Lance would follow his team-mate out also on a new set of ultra soft tyres. Lance would set a 1m:06.776 to move ahead of his team-mate currently in sixteenth.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari 1m05.092s - 18
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG F1 Team 1m05.361s 0.269s 21
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG F1 Team 1m05.515s 0.423s 19
4 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari 1m05.611s 0.519s 19
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1m05.784s 0.692s 24
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1m05.896s 0.804s 29
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team 1m05.936s 0.844s 21
8 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team 1m06.015s 0.923s 22
9 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m06.279s 1.187s 28
10 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m06.284s 1.192s 19
11 Esteban Ocon Force India F1 Team 1m06.374s 1.282s 26
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport F1 Team 1m06.563s 1.471s 18
13 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1m06.578s 1.486s 18
14 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team 1m06.595s 1.503s 22
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1m06.599s 1.507s 20
16 Lance Stroll Williams Martini Racing 1m06.776s 1.684s 22
17 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing 1m06.865s 1.773s 24
18 Sergio Perez Force India F1 Team 1m06.875s 1.783s 28
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team 1m07.378s 2.286s 21
20 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber F1 Team 1m07.468s 2.376s 25



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Austrian GP: Williams Martini continues to struggle in FP3
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08/07/2017 11:57
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