Valtteri Bottas topped a drying third free practice session at Spa-Francorchamps this morning.
The Williams man jumped to the top thanks to a late run that propelled him ahead of Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) and Nico Rosberg (Mercedes).
It had been a mostly quiet session, with cars rolling onto the circuit in just the final third of the session, as the sun emerged, creating dry patches along the damp Belgian track.
Bottas’ best – a 1:49.465s – was almost three-tenths quicker than the Renault-powered Red Bull man; however considering the changing conditions of the circuit, it is still unknown just how representative this time may be.
Ricciardo’s 2nd place also came right at the death, while Rosberg’s time (1:49.739) came just moments before Bottas claimed his practice prize. Ferrari man Kimi Raikkonen assumed 4th in the order, with the Finn appearing far more comfortable today than he did at this point on Friday.
Lewis Hamilton – who took 5th in his Mercedes works machine – secured the fastest middle section by a long way on his final lap – an example of what the silver car still had in store.
There was little else of interest in the session. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) quietly ran to 6th, while Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso), Jenson Button (McLaren), Felipe Massa (Williams) and Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) filled out the top ten.
Reigning world champions Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) could do better than 13th, as he fights to make up for losing yesterday’s second practice session. The German has reverted to the engine used in Hungary.
2014 Belgian Grand Prix (Rd 12, Free Practice 3) Pos Driver Team Time / Gap 1. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:49.465 2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1:49.733 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:49.739 4. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:49.817 5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:49.817 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:49.890 7. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1:49.893 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:50.203 9. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:50.423 10. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1:50.535 11. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:50.592 12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:50.748 13. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:50.814 14. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:50.866 15. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:50.962 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:51.509 17. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1:51.610 18. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:51.898 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:52.457 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:52.984 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:54.294 22. André Lotterer Caterham-Renault 1:55.008