• British GP - FP3

Vettel tops wet final practice session

ESPN Staff
July 5, 2014
© Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel topped the times during a wet final practice session for the British Grand Prix - the first time the world champion has done so this year - as the two Mercedes drivers opted not to set lap times in the tricky conditions.

The session was wet throughout, with intermediates the tyres of choice and Vettel's fastest time coming 36 minutes into the hour. He beat team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by 0.109s and finished his lap with a long power slide out of the final corner. Moments later Hamilton was 0.5s up through the first two sectors, but ran wide at Stowe and decided to abort his lap and return to the pits. By the end of the session Hamilton and team-mate Nico Rosberg had completed nine laps between them but without setting a time.

Fernando Alonso also opted not to complete a flying lap, while Max Chilton's session was ended after just one lap with a gearbox issue that will necessitate a change ahead of qualifying and a five-place grid penalty. Despite plenty of off track moments for drivers up and down the pit lane, Jules Bianchi was the only one to damage his car as a result of the conditions when he went straight on at Stowe and front broke his wing against the barrier. Adrian Sutil came close to doing the same but just managed to steer the car clear of the barriers as he rallycrossed through the gravel.

The Lotuses of Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean were busy at the start of the session and set the third and fourth fastest laps, although Grosjean complained of oversteer after losing the rear of his car in the final corner and just keeping the car out of the wall. Sutil was fifth fastest after completing 12 laps in the Sauber pushing relatively hard. To prove the point, his team-mate Esteban Gutierrez was told he was braking significantly earlier than Sutil and losing time as a result.

Daniil Kvyat was another driver pushing hard and hauled his Toro Rosso up to sixth place in the standings after 15 laps. He did well to hold a snap of overtseer early in the session but ended up ahead of both McLarens and Valtteri Bottas as reward for his efforts. Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top ten with a time two second shy of Vettel's best effort.

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