Sebastian Vettel took Ferrari to the top of the timesheets in the final practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday morning, heading up a one-two finish for the Italian marque.
In a session that saw both Mercedes drivers struggle with tire wear and Nico Rosberg crash out after a suspension failure, Ferrari seized the initiative as it moved into the fight at the front.
Vettel posted a fastest lap time of 1:07.098 to finish one-tenth of a second clear of teammate Kimi Raikkonen, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton only finishing third.
Hamilton was forced to abandon an early run due to blistering on his rear tires, and although he bounced back late on, the Briton could only lap two-tenths off Vettel’s time.
However, there was worse news on the other side of the garage. Starting a flying lap on the ultra-soft tire with 20 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg ran wide at the exit of Turn 2 after suffering a rear-left suspension failure, causing his car to punt into the wall.
Officials immediately red flagged the session, and while Rosberg was unharmed, the same could not be said of his car, leaving Mercedes with a big repair job ahead of qualifying.
Daniel Ricciardo led Red Bull’s charge in fourth place ahead of teammate Max Verstappen, while the Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa followed in sixth and seventh respectively.
Nico Hulkenberg finished the session eighth for Force India, edging out the McLaren pair of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso in P9 and P10.
Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and the NBC Sports app from 8am ET on Sunday.
“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.
“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”
Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something
we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”