2014 Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix - Third free practice

08:48
Hello and welcome to live text coverage of final practice for the Belgian Grand Prix!
08:48
We've had heavy rain overnight, with a wet GP3 qualifying earlier this morning
08:48
It's beginning to dry up, but the track is likely to be damp for the start of FP3
08:48
During Friday practice, Mercedes led the way once again
08:50
Hamilton pulled out a sizeable six tenth advantage in the afternoon session, although team-mate Rosberg made a mistake on his best lap
08:50
As a reminder, Pirelli has brought its Soft and Medium tyres to Spa-Francorchamps
08:50
Although, as we just mentioned, we should see the wet weather compounds today
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In terms of DRS, there are two zones in place, controlled by separate detection points
08:51
The first comes along the Kemmel straight, with the second on the main straight
08:52
08:54
While it has been raining today, the race is expected to take place in dry conditions
08:55
That would have given drivers a headache when looking to balance a wet/dry set-up
08:57
For reference, air and track temperatures are sitting at 12°C and 16°C
08:57
Those cool readings will slow down the track drying process
09:00
The green light comes on at the end of the pit lane and FP3 begins!
09:00
Bianchi is the first driver out in his Marussia
09:00
He is quickly followed by Bottas and Maldonado
09:00
Maldonado will be looking to make up for lost time after his FP2 accident
09:01
He had to take a trip to the circuit's medical centre, but was cleared of injury
09:01
Plenty more cars heading out for early laps
09:02
The Williams drivers are on Full Wets, but the rest are on Intermediates
09:02
A dry line is emerging around the circuit
09:03
We should see slicks as the session develops
09:04
Button says he is "taking it easy" on his first lap to avoid a trip to the barriers
09:04
He brings his car back to the pits safely, as has everyone else so far
09:05
Vettel heads out for the first time today
09:05
He completed just 11 laps on Friday, due to a power unit issue
09:05
He has switched back to an older unit, thus avoiding a penalty
09:06
But he admits grid drops are "inevitable" over the second half of the season
09:06
Just Alonso and Vergne yet to leave the pits
09:07
09:08
Most drivers are mirroring Button by crawling around the circuit
09:10
The last thing a team wants to see is a car getting damaged before qualifying
09:10
Alonso takes to the track on Intermediates
09:11
09:12
Vettel has been describing the track conditions over the radio
09:13
The crossover will be crucial if conditions are similar in qualifying
09:14
Newcomer Lotterer posts the first time of the session, lapping in 2:07.529
09:14
The German then runs wide at Turn 1 on his next lap
09:15
Bianchi takes over at the front with a 2:01.823
09:15
Chilton has multiple lock-ups under braking for Les Combes, but makes the corner
09:17
Lots of drivers waiting patiently in the pits as the circuit gradually dries
09:20
The track falls silent as Chilton returns to the pits
09:20
Plenty of work going on at Ferrari, with wings being changed
09:27
09:28
Still just three times on the board as we approach the halfway mark
09:30
Gutierrez breaks the silence in his Sauber
09:30
He's on slicks, more specifically the Medium compound
09:30
The other drivers will be watching on to see how he copes
09:32
Gutierrez stays out and begins a flying lap
09:34
The Mexican goes fastest with 2:00.242
09:35
Bianchi has joined Gutierrez on track
09:36
More drivers getting ready to head back out
09:38
Gutierrez has improved to 1:56.151, the first to dip under the two minute barrier
09:39
All of a sudden, the track is extremely busy, with most on the Medium rubber
09:41
A flurry of slick tyre times on the way...
09:43
Bottas currently leads on 1:51.583
09:44
Raikkonen is second, from Massa, Kvyat and Vettel
09:45
Hamilton now up to third, with Ricciardo slotting into fourth
09:45
Rosberg goes second, just over a tenth down on Bottas
09:47
Alonso goes fastest with a 1:51.218
09:47
That's three tenths up on previous pace-setter Bottas
09:48
Magnussen breaks into the top 10 for McLaren
09:49
Ricciardo told that he is losing time to Vettel in the first and final sectors
09:49
Even so, he is faster than his team-mate at the moment, with a superior middle sector
09:50
Ricciardo goes third after taking the advice onboard
09:50
Rosberg storms clear with a time of 1:50.023
09:51
Hamilton then edges his team-mate by one thousandth of a second
09:52
09:52
Button has joined Magnussen in the top 10
09:53
Plenty of drivers now heading out on the Soft tyre
09:53
Raikkonen is one of the first to do so
09:55
Raikkonen, on the softer rubber, takes P1 with a 1:49.817
09:55
He found more than two seconds between compounds
09:55
But part of that will be down to the improving track conditions
09:56
Button moves up to fourth in the McLaren
09:56
Massa has gone fifth, with Magnussen and Sutil also making sizeable gains
09:56
A big moment for Maldonado through Eau Rouge
09:57
He just about manages to keep his car under control
09:57
Hamilton equals Raikkonen's time and stays second
09:58
Bottas returns to the top of the times on 1:49.465
09:58
Rosberg goes second, 0.274s adrift of Bottas
09:59
Alonso can only go fifth, despite an overall best time through the first sector
10:00
Ricciardo pops up to second as the chequered flag comes out
10:00
Plenty more drivers setting personal best sector times
10:01
Raikkonen fails to leave the pits in time for a practice start
10:01
He is now being wheeled back to his garage
10:02
All cars have now filtered through, with no changes at the front
10:02
Bottas stays fastest, ahead of Ricciardo and Rosberg
10:02
Stay tuned to the website for a full report plus the latest news and photos
10:03
We will be back for qualifying at 2pm local time (GMT +2)