Kimi Raikkonen is quickest in FP3

30 September 2017

Kimi Raikkonen is quickest in FP3 as his team mate Vettel has suspected engine problems

In the final practice session for the Malaysian GP, Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheets ahead of his team mate Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo in a session that saw Vettel having to return to the pits in the latter part of the session as Renault’s Jolyon Palmer had an incident on the track with Max Verstappen.

For this weekend, the Mercedes team brought a substantial upgrade to the W08 to Malaysia, including revised front wing, ‘spoon’ deflector, bargeboards and floor, but has so far struggled relative to its rivals.

The team has now decided for the remainder of the weekend to run split programmes with its drivers in a bid to find answers, with Valtteri Bottas running the new aero package and Lewis Hamilton reverting to the old.

During the session, Max Verstappen had his session disrupted when he had contact with Jolyon Palmer at the final corner. Palmer, who had a fragmented session that included an off-track excursion, dived down the inside of the final corner, locking up and hitting the Red Bull.

The impact broke Palmer’s front wing with Verstappen reporting a puncture, and both drivers were summoned to the stewards over the incident.

It was another tough day for Romain Grosjean yet again whose mechanics worked into the early hours of the morning following his unusual Friday practice crash. Grosjean on a flying lap spun and aborted a flying lap when he picked up a flat-spot as a result of a big lock up into Turn 9 and ended up 18th.

His team-mate Kevin Magnussen also had his running limited when the team recalled him to the garage after it suspected a problem with the engine but he got back out on track.
But it was Kimi Raikkonen who was fastest with a lap time of 1:31.880 ahead of Sebastian Vettel in second place who was 0.162 seconds behind him and ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in third place who was 0.211 seconds behind Raikkonen.

Valtteri Bottas finished the session in fourth place ahead of Lewis Hamilton in fifth place, Max Verstappen in sixth place, Sergio Perez in seventh place, Felipe Massa in eighth place, Esteban Ocon in ninth place and Stoffel Vandoorne who rounded off the top ten finishers.

Fernando Alonso ended the session in eleventh place ahead of Lance Stroll in twelfth place, Kevin Magnussen in thirteenth place, Nico Hulkenberg in fourteenth place and Carlos Sainz Jr in fifteenth place.

As we head into the latter stages of the grid, Pierre Gasly ended the session in sixteenth place ahead of Jolyon Palmer in seventeenth place, Romain Grosjean in eighteenth place, Marcus Ericsson in nineteenth place and Pascal Wehrlein in twentieth place.

The classification of FP3 for the Malaysian GP is as follows:-

1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1.31.880
2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 0.162s
3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-TAG Heuer, 0.211s
4. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 0.449s
5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 0.659s
6. Max Verstappen, Red-Bull-TAG Heuer, 0.699s
7. Sergio Perez, Force India-Mercedes, 1.329s
8. Felipe Massa, Williams-Mercedes, 1.360s
9. Esteban Ocon, Force India-Mercedes, 1.410s
10. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, 1.441s
11. Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Honda, 1.650s
12. Lance Stroll, Williams-Mercedes, 1.658s
13. Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, 1.907s
14. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1.991s
15. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 2.044s
16. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, 2.326s
17. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 2.595s
18. Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, 3.034s
19. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber-Ferrari, 3.056s
20. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber-Ferrari, 3.165s

Driving for Pleasure will be covering the Malaysian GP weekend with our, qualifying and race report alongside the latest news.

Sarah Jones- @jonesy_laaa