Bottas quickest in wet/dry final practice

Bottas quickest in wet/dry final practice

23 August 2014 – Valtteri Bottas finished atop the timesheets in Saturday morning's wet/dry final practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix. The Williams driver made the most of a small Soft tyre window in the closing minutes to clock a 1:49.465, a couple of tenths up on Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.

With rain falling overnight and continuing to a lesser extent through GP3 qualifying, the drivers faced a wet track surface at the start of the session.

Pirelli's Full Wet and Intermediate tyres were used for early exploratory laps, with only three cars registering times in the opening half an hour.

The circuit eventually dried sufficiently for the slick tyres to emerge, with a sequence of low fuel runs on the Medium and Soft compound tyres being carried out in preparation for this afternoon's qualifying session.

Bottas ultimately set the standard on an ever-improving track surface, lapping 0.268s faster than Ricciardo.

Rosberg was less than one hundredth back, while Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen and the second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, who went purple through the middle sector on his in-lap, set identical times in fourth and fifth.

Rosberg and Hamilton had topped the Medium tyre runs, with the latter ahead by just one thousandth.

Fernando Alonso wound up sixth, losing time in the final two sectors after a strong start to his best lap.

The Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Éric Vergne both made the top 10, sandwiching lead McLaren driver Jenson Button and Felipe Massa's Williams – the Brazilian the last to get within a second of pace-setter Bottas.

After his troubles on Friday, reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel almost doubled his lap tally for the weekend with a smoother session, but he finished 13th and more than second adrift of team-mate Ricciardo.

At the rear of the field, Marussia again got the better of key rivals Caterham. Jules Bianchi was five tenths up on team-mate Max Chilton, while Marcus Ericsson outpaced newcomer André Lotterer by the best part of a second.

Saturday's qualifying session at Spa gets underway at 14:00 local time (GMT +2)

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