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"I enjoyed it today", said the Finn. On that occasion, Vettel went on to win the race and Bottas finished third behind his team mate Lewis Hamilton.

"I think you must try also to interpret the situation well".

Sebastian Vettel felt the SF70H felt good during free practice for the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday, with the German finishing fourth fastest in first practice and second fastest in the second.

"For sure, Lewis can fight back from where he's starting, but if you start playing games like that here it can get quite tricky".

Vettel hit the back of Hamilton's auto as they prepared for one of three restarts, damaging his front wing and the Mercedes' floor.

Although Hamilton has accepted the apology and said he still has "the utmost respect" for Vettel, he refused to play along when asked to shake hands with his rival in post-qualifying interviews.

The Briton had topped the timesheets in both practice sessions as he looked to set about closing a 14-point gap on Vettel in the Formula One world drivers' championship standings.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain enters a curve during the third practice session for the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg Austria Saturday

"Congratulations to Valtteri, he did a fantastic job and Sebastian has been very quick".

The drop means he can not equal Michael Schumacher's all-time pole position record of 68 at his home British Grand Prix next week.

"I still have the issues with power", Hamilton said near the end of the session. Hamilton is now on 66 and had been favourite to take the top slot in Austria.

All drivers lost their opportunity to improve on the second runs after Romain Grosjean's Haas broke down at the exit of Turn 3 while he tried to adjust his engine settings, and Max Verstappen's Red Bull spun into the gravel at the exit of Turn 7.

"Valtteri has been quickest all weekend so it is not really in my mind at the moment", he said.

Mercedes has dismissed suggestions that the damage that Lewis Hamilton's gearbox suffered at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was caused by the impact he took from Sebastian Vettel in the race, according to Motorsport. "Got the auto nice and stable for qualifying and was able to build up the confidence and this is a track where you really need it in the high-speed corners", said Bottas, who was very happy at the press conference. "Q1 and Q2 was good and then Q3 was just so-so".

Williams duo Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll both had a dismal qualifying and were a lowly 17th and 18th, with the Sauber's of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein bringing up the rear.