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Japanese GP: Tough session for Williams Martini in FP3

By Andrew Hooper
October 7 2017

The final practice session for the 2017 Japanese GP would be another tough one for the Williams Martini team. Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll would have an uneventful session but they could only manage 11th and 15th with Felipe ahead of Lance. The session would be a stop start one with two red flags. Looking ahead qualifying is going to be a difficult one for the Williams team with the second period most likely the best they can hope for.

 Williams Martini Japanese GP Saturday Practice

Team Summary:
After the second Friday practice was hit by heavy rain showers Saturday's practice was looking far better with it been dry even if there was a few damp patches on the track. With the start of the session it would be a mix of super soft's, mediums and soft's for the first handful of drivers that have headed out. Vettel would say that the track was dry in all places. Gasly would set the first time with a 1m:33.030. But quite a few drivers were coming back into the pit lane but not stopping so they could complete practice starts.

More drivers would set times with Hamilton going fastest with a 1m:29.699 followed by Gasly, Sainz, Hulkenberg, Palmer and Bottas. Vettel was now third but Bottas would move up to the top of the times with a 1m:29.529. But Hamilton would also improve with a 1m:29.069 to again be quickest. For Williams their first runs would see the drivers third and fifth but they were a considerable margin behind the quickest times. The top times were all been set on the soft tyre but Alonso would go third but was on the super soft tyre. Bottas would move ahead of Hamilton with a 1m:29.055. Forty five minutes remaining Verstappen and Ricciardo would move into third and fourth.

Mercedes and Red Bull were now on the super soft tyre. Bottas had gone off and damaged his right rear wheel and suspension as well as the front right. The session would be red flagged with debris on the track at the Spoon curve. Bottas had run wide and onto the Astroturf seeing him then go wide into the barrier. The session would restart with twenty eight minutes remaining. The order was Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Alonso, Perez, Felipe, Gasly, Lance and Vettel tenth. But the session would again be red flagged as Raikkonen crashes at the 2nd Degner with the back end of his car stepping out seeing him take to the gravel and into the barrier.

Twenty minutes remaining and the session would restart and Vettel would move up to third with a 1m:29.717. There next runs the Williams drivers were in ninth and twelfth but they would drop down the times to be twelfth and fourteenth with six minutes remaining. Verstappen would set a 1m:29.910 but was still fourth. The Williams drivers were now fourteenth and fifteen with three minutes remaining. It was a tough session for the Williams drivers as it came to an end. The top ten was Bottas from Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Ocon, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Perez, and Palmer tenth.

Felipe Massa:
Felipe would join Lance out on the track also on the soft tyre. Felipe would set a 1m:31.633 to be third. He would drop to fourth then sixth. Felipe had improved with a 1m:31.541 still on the soft tyre. Felipe would pit with the red flag currently seventh. Felipe would return running on a new set of the super soft tyres. Felipe had dropped to twelfth but would move into eleventh with a 1m:31.453 then dropping to twelfth. Felipe would again find a few tenths setting a 1m:31.316 to be twelfth and he would pit with just over ten minutes remaining. Felipe would return on a new set of super soft tyres with five minutes remaining. Felipe was currently fifteenth. Felipe would set a 1m:30.764 to now be eleventh. This is where he would end the session.

Lance Stroll:
Lance would come out running on soft tyres for his first run. Lance would have a moment coming out of the hairpin but would continue. Lance would set a 1m:32.942 to be fifth dropping to sixth then eighth. Lance would continue to lap but had so far failed to improve. Lance was currently ninth and back in his pit. Lance would come back out running on the super soft tyre. But with the red flags he would still be in his pit currently seventeenth. He would return now eighteenth. Lance was 1.4 seconds off the pace of his team-mate. But Lance would put in a quick lap going into ninth with a 1m:31.011. Lance would pit after his short run. Lance would also come back out on a new set of super soft tyres currently fifteenth and with the end of the session would remain in this position.

Pos Driver Team Gap Laps
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 1m29.055s 9
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 0.014s 19
3 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari 0.324s 23
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 0.855s 15
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 0.963s 13
6 Esteban Ocon Sahara Force India F1 Team 1.054s 12
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport F1 Team 1.260s 19
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1.369s 13
9 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team 1.508s 12
10 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team 1.709s 22
11 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing 1.709s 21
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1.715s 18
13 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Toro Rosso 1.744s 23
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team 1.927s 12
15 Lance Stroll Williams Martini Racing 1.956s 20
16 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso 2.298s 25
17 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team 2.404s 13
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team 3.524s 22
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber F1 Team 3.643s 21
20 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari 4.907s 12

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Japanese GP: Tough session for Williams Martini in FP3
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07/10/2017 05:20
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