Lewis Hamilton set the quickest time in the final Practice session today, which took place under sodden conditions at Austin as the conditions worsened.
Race Control managed to find a window however, which allowed us to set times which could end up forming the grid for the Race tomorrow. Hamilton set his best lap in the final 30 minutes, timing his run perfectly as the standing water started to build up on the track.
This is something Sebastien Vettel found out, when on his out lap the Ferrari driver spun at the penultimate corner before spinning again at turn 10, which prompted the team to bring him in with his time being second fastest.
Nico Hulkenberg was the surprise driver, posting a lap time good enough for third after trading provisional [potential] pole laps with Valterri Bottas in the mid stages of the session. The pair were improving by the hundredths, as the lap times tumbled from the mid 2:12’s to the low 2:00’s.
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz rounded out the top five after fitting a new set of Wets when the track conditions started to improve, whilst teammate Max Verstappen was at the bottom end of the field having not set a lap time initially. Nico Rosberg also missed out on setting a quick lap after crashing into the barrier heading into turn three on his first run, which meant he was down in P9 behind Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Kvyat.
Grosjean and Maldonado also seemed to lack pace in the treacherous conditions, as did the two Sauber’s who were aquaplaning on most of their attempts.
In the final 15 minutes most teams used it as an opportunity to do pass-thru’s of the pit lane, in order to conduct practice starts for tomorrows Race, which will no doubt be held under wet conditions. We await now for Qualifying hour, which could well be cancelled like Practice 2 yesterday if the conditions worsen.