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2015 F1

Hamilton sets blistering time in soaking wet third practice

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Hamilton sets blistering time in soaking wet third practice

Hamilton sets blistering time in soaking wet third practice

Defending F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton was fastest around a very wet track at Circuit of the Americas Saturday morning.

Rainfall onset by Hurricane Patricia and local downpour cautions cast uncertainty on the viability of final practice going ahead as planned, with COTA taking the decision to shut the gates to fans until midday on safety grounds.

The session start at 10am CT. Drivers were instructed to only use the full wet tire until told otherwise to aid water clearing on the track and rise grip.

All of the drivers succeeded to get out for a timed lap early on, following the teams were told that if qualifying cannot be run as scheduled in the afternoon then practice times might be used to set the grid.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was second fastest ahead of Force India speedy Nico Hulkenberg, with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas fourth fastest from Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz.

Daniil Kvyat, Kimi Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa, completed the top 10 for FP3.

During the final 30 minutes the rain grew heavier, prompting the teams to call their drivers back into the pits and stop pushing for faster times.

Many drivers pushed over the edge throughout the session, going off track as a result. Early stages of the session Championship contender Nico Rosberg suffered with front wing damage after losing control of his car, although Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen also had spins.

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