FP3: Vettel heads final practice in Shanghai

  • 14 Apr 2018 06:00
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

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

CN Shanghai International Circuit - 14 April 2018

Photos China 2018

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15 - Mar 17
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29 - Mar 31
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26 - Apr 28
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10 - May 12
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24 - May 26
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21 - Jun 23
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United States of America
15 - Nov 17
Brazil
29 - Dec 1
United Arab Emirates
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Formula 1 Calendar - 2019

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
15 - Mar 17
Australia Albert Park
29 - Mar 31
12 - Apr 14
26 - Apr 28
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
10 - May 12
24 - May 26
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7 - Jun 9
21 - Jun 23
France Paul Ricard
28 - Jun 30
Austria Red Bull Ring
12 - Jul 14
United Kingdom Silverstone
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Germany Hockenheimring
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6 - Sep 8
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