Vettel leads final Austria F1 practice, Hamilton suffers brake disc failure

Getty Images

Formula 1 championship leader Sebastian Vettel bounced back from a difficult Friday to lead final practice for the Austrian Gand Prix on Saturday morning for Ferrari as title rival Lewis Hamilton suffered a brake disc failure late on.

Hamilton led both FP1 and FP2 for Mercedes on Friday, and headed the timesheets for much of FP3 before Vettel was able to move a quarter of a second clear in the final 15 minutes of the session with a best lap of 1:05.092.

Hamilton was unable to respond after suffering a brake disc failure during a flying lap, causing him to run straight on at Turn 3 before nursing his car back to the pits.

“It was a problem with the team side of the brake system for Lewis, i.e. not an issue with components supplied to us by a third party,” a spokesman from Mercedes confirmed.

“The relevant parts will be replaced for qualifying. The result was a disc failure but not caused by an issue with the disc.”

Hamilton’s early lap was still good enough to give him P2 at the end of the session ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, while Kimi Raikkonen took fourth place for Ferrari.

Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo ended FP3 fifth and sixth for Red Bull at its home track, while Haas enjoyed a strong showing to take P7 and P8 through Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean respectively.

Daniil Kvyat was ninth for Toro Rosso ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz Jr., who bounced back from an early engine issue to complete the top 10.

Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 8am ET on Saturday.