FP3: Vettel heads final practice in Shanghai

Published on 14 Apr 2018 06:00

Sebastian Vettel has topped the final practice session before qualifying gets underway for the Chinese Grand Prix. The German's quickest time was a 1:33.018 on the ultra soft tyre.

Vettel's fastest lap was just under half a second faster than teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who ended the session in second place. The Ferrari duo headed the Mercedes pair and Max Verstappen, with Valtteri Bottas ahead Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton struggled throughout the session, and seemed to lack confidence in the car while setting a lap. He had a dramatic moment after Turn 10 early on, running wide over the wet astroturf and violently spinning around, destroying his tyres.

Verstappen complained about his engine towards the end of the session, but it was his Red Bull teammate was the one to suffer. The Australian had an engine failure during the session, forcing him to pull to the side of the circuit and exit the session early.

Kevin Magnussen was sixth, just three-tenths down on Hamilton's fastest time. Despite Force India's struggles so far this year, it will be encouraged by its pace in final practice, as Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon ended up in seventh and eighth.

Carlos Sainz was ninth for Renault, while Sergey Sirotkin got his Williams inside the top ten. However, behind Siroktin, the field was closely packed as just two-tenths of a second separated P11 and P16.

Nico Hulkenberg was eleventh in the second Renault, ahead of McLaren teammates Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne. Behind the two papaya-coloured cars was Brendon Hartley and Ricciardo, the latter of which failed to set a fast time.

Pierre Gasly was sixteenth, leading Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc in the two Saubers. Romain Grosjean rounded out the timesheets, ending his practice when his rear brakes overheated, forcing him back into the garage.


Fergal Walsh

14 April 2018 - Grand Prix of China - Free practice 3
  Driver Team Time Difference #
1. DE Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:33.018 14
2. FI Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:33.469 +0.451 21
3. FI Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:33.761 +0.743 16
4. NL Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:33.969 +0.951 14
5. GB Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.057 +1.039 14
6. DK Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 1:34.329 +1.311 25
7. MX Sergio Perez Force India 1:34.445 +1.427 14
8. FR Esteban Ocon Force India 1:34.456 +1.438 16
9. ES Carlos Sainz jr Renault 1:34.582 +1.564 20
10. RU Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:34.741 +1.723 13
11. DE Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:34.841 +1.823 16
12. ES Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:34.851 +1.833 13
13. BE Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:34.977 +1.959 16
14. NZ Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:34.991 +1.973 20
15. AU Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:35.061 +2.043 4
16. FR Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:35.079 +2.061 16
17. CA Lance Stroll Williams 1:35.375 +2.357 16
18. MC Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:35.479 +2.461 14
19. SE Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:35.679 +2.661 13
20. FR Romain Grosjean Haas F1 1:35.756 +2.738 6
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