"Considering how hard or bad - whichever way you want to look at it - the weekend has been, we're going to start third place tomorrow so that's at least something good", Raikkonen said.
Rounding off the top 10 were his team mate Esteban Ocon, who didn't quite show the pace that got him far too close to his teammate last time round, and Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso. "If the auto behind gets DRS and the slipstream, then with just one mistake and they can get the win".
"It makes no sense for Valtteri to slow down so that will not be the case", Hamilton explained.
Bottas' fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen was sixth in the second Ferrari ahead of Dane Kevin Magnussen of Haas, two-time world champion Fernando Alonso of McLaren, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg and Frenchman Romain Grosjean in the second Haas vehicle.
During the low-speed initial collision between the Ferrari and the Mercedes, Vettel's front wing was damaged, but he had the good fortune to be able to replace it during a subsequent red flag period.
He also has the chance to take a different strategy to come through the field. But he'll be starting Sunday's race a lot further down the grid than that. The team said it was a brake disk failure and Hamilton's mechanics worked frantically to get his vehicle ready for qualifying. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) - 111 points 4.
The matter was referred to the race stewards at the Red Bull Ring on Friday evening after the three-time world champion Briton had dominated both opening practice sessions. The team will replace the relevant parts for qualifying. Hamilton managed to limp back to the pits but his session was over while Mercedes checked the vehicle in the garage.
This was a squall conjured from nothing and signifying even less.
Hulkenberg was only five thousandths of a second quicker than Fernando Alonso's spec-2 engined McLaren-Honda, which failed to improve during its second run. Kevin Magnussen had to settle for 15th with no time set, after an impressive Q1 performance was ruined by a broken suspension at the back end of the session, ending his day early.
Vettel could only manage the fourth-fastest time in the morning before getting closer in free practice two, but he still could not match the man closest to him in the title race.
Sauber drivers Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein finished at the foot of the timesheets, finishing over seven-tenths of a second off a berth in Q2.