Vettel quickest in Austrian GP practice

Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:27pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) - Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was first and last in Austrian Grand Prix practice on a Friday that team principal Maurizio Arrivabene will not forget in a hurry after nearly being run over by Felipe Massa.

Vettel completed only four laps in the morning before pulling over with a gearbox problem and then did 28 in the afternoon to end the day with the fastest lap of one minute 09.600 seconds.

The second session also ended with another gearbox problem, however.

"One of the sensors went to the alert mode and we had to slow down...we don’t know what’s the problem yet, but it seems to be unrelated to the one we had this morning," said the German.

Compatriot Nico Rosberg, last year's winner who set the pace for Mercedes before lunch, was second with a time just 0.11 slower than the four-times champion.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest in both sessions.

If that put a smile on Arrivabene's face, it made up for the shock of trying to cross the pitlane just as former Ferrari driver Massa left the Williams garage.

As the Brazilian braked, the Italian jumped back.   Continued...

Ferrari Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (R) talks to a technician in the pit during the first practice session of the Austrian F1 Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg, Austria, June 19, 2015.  REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger