Bottas leads way in final practice

By on Saturday, August 23, 2014
Williams Martini Racing

Williams Martini Racing

Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time during a frantic ending to the final practice session ahead of qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchaps.

Bottas set a time of 1:49.465 to finish the session 0.268s clear of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

Nico Rosberg was third for Mercedes, ahead of Kimi Räikkönen and Lewis Hamilton, who set identical times.

Overnight rain left the circuit damp, with drivers emerging onto the circuit either on Intermediates and Wets, with the majority completing just an installation lap.

Andre Lotterer was the first driver to set a time before he slid marginally wide at La Source. His time was soon trumped by Jules Bianchi, who remained the fastest driver for the first half of the session as drivers opted to remain in the garage.

Esteban Gutiérrez broke the silence as he came out on Primes in his Sauber and lowered Bianchi’s benchmark by a second, before he moved further clear on his next lap.

With 20 minutes remaining other drivers also opted to emerge onto the drying track, with Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado both going quicker than Gutiérrez, before Daniil Kvyat enjoyed a spell at the top of the times.

Bottas duly smashed Kvyat’s time by almost two seconds before he lowered his own benchmark by 0.040s, as Rosberg slotted into second.

However, it was soon Alonso who led the way as his time of 1:51.218 was over three-tenths of a second faster than erstwhile pace setter Bottas. Alonso’s time, though, only lasted a few minutes as Rosberg duly assumed top spot for Mercedes with a 1:50.023. Hamilton followed behind Rosberg and despite suffering from a moment of oversteer at Stavelot, the Brit edged ahead of his title rival by just a thousandth of a second.

Räikkönen was the first to switch to Options and he duly led the way, inching ahead of Hamilton’s time on Primes by 0.205s. Hamilton matched Räikkönen’s time before Bottas moved three-tenths clear into first place.

Bottas thus ended up as the fastest driver, while Ricciardo slotted into second during the final stages, ahead of Rosberg and the equal Räikkönen and Hamilton.

Alonso finished in sixth, while Kvyat, Jenson Button, Felipe Massa and Jean-Éric Vergne rounded out the top 10.

177Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1:49.46512
23Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing-Renault1:49.7330.2689
36Nico RosbergMercedes1:49.7390.27413
47Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:49.8170.3529
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:49.8170.35213
614Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:49.8900.4259
726Daniil KvyatSTR-Renault1:49.8930.42811
822Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:50.2030.73811
919Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1:50.4230.95811
1025Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Renault1:50.5351.07010
1111Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1:50.5921.12712
1220Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1:50.7481.28311
131Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:50.8141.34910
1427Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1:50.8661.40111
1599Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1:50.9621.49712
168Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:51.5092.0449
1713Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1:51.6102.14510
1821Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1:51.8982.43315
1917Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1:52.4572.99214
204Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1:52.9843.51914
219Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1:54.2944.82911
2245Andre LottererCaterham-Renault1:55.0085.54313

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