Austrian Grand Prix: Nico Rosberg crashes in final practice

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer
Rosberg could struggle to make qualifying - live on the BBC Sport website from 12:00 BST

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg suffered a heavy crash as a result of rear suspension failure in final practice at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The World Championship leader was unhurt after his left rear suspension broke as he ran over the kerbs on the exit of Turn Two at the Red Bull Ring.

The car hit the wall nose first, spun along it and was badly damaged.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was fastest and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton third on a used set of tyres.

British world champion Hamilton was 0.210 seconds slower than Vettel and 0.074secs adrift of the German's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.


That suggests that on a new set Hamilton would be fastest, but Mercedes will be more concerned about the cause of his German team-mate's crash.

If the suspension failure was caused by resonance over the kerbs, it would have ramifications for both cars for the remainder of the weekend as the suspension would have to be strengthened.

Rosberg ended the session slowest of all because he did not manage to complete a quick lap on the ultra-soft tyres as all his running up until his crash had been in preparation for the race on heavy fuel.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest, from team-mate Max Verstappen, the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, who spun off at the last corner without damage, and Force India's Nico Hulkenberg.

Both McLarens were in the top 10, with Jenson Button 0.023secs quicker than Fernando Alonso, who caused his car some light damage with a trip over the kerbs at Turn Eight.

Storms for qualifying?

Austrian Grand Prix practice results

Austrian Grand Prix coverage details