FP3: Bottas quickest as Albon brings out the reds

FP3: Valtteri Bottas quickest as Alex Albon brings out the reds

FP3: Valtteri Bottas quickest as Alex Albon brings out the reds

Valtteri Bottas put in a late run to beat Sebastian Vettel to P1 in final practice for the Chinese GP, a session in which Alex Albon brought out the reds as he crashed heavily.

Another glorious day greeted the drivers as FP3 got underway at the Shanghai International Circuit with the track temperature up to 38’C.

Robert Kubica, watched on by Patrick Head and deputy team boss Claire Williams, clocked the first time of the session, a 1:37.220.

10 minutes later the benchmark time was down to a 1:33.222 thanks to Sebastian Vettel, who was running the soft Pirellis.

Mercedes, who opted for the medium tyres, lined up second and third at the halfway mark with Lewis Hamilton 0.734s down on Vettel.

While Mercedes ventured out for a second run, Vettel remained put in the Ferrari garage with mechanics surrounding the rear left of his SF90.

There was also work going on at the front of the car by the nose with speculation that it was a telemetry issue that the Scuderia were working on.

Whatever the issue was, Ferrari sorted it out and the German returned to the action where he was on course to improve his time only to get it wrong.

With Vettel unable to improve it was left to those behind to catch him and catch him they did.

Leclerc moved to within 0.02s of his team-mate before Bottas came through with a 1:32.830 to set the pace.

His time would go unchallenged as Albon crashed heavily on his qualifying simulation lap.

The Toro Rosso driver got it very wrong at the final corner and destroyed his STR14. He, thankfully, climbed out the car unaided.

The red flags were waved and FP3 came to a premature end with Bottas quickest ahead of Vettel and Leclerc.

Hamilton, who locked up on his hot lap, was fourth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Kimi Raikkonen.

1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:32.830 11 laps
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.392s 12
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 0.418s 10
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.859s 10
5 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1.144s 11
6 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing 1.416s 14
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1.617s 5
8 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1.680s 9
9 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 1.770s 11
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1.953s 10
11 Lando Norris McLaren 2.108s 11
12 Sergio Perez Racing Point 2.248s 9
13 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 2.312s 11
14 Lance Stroll Racing Point 2.393s 10
15 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 2.496s 8
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 2.896s 12
17 Romain Grosjean Haas 2.941s 14
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas 3.168s 15
19 George Russell Williams 3.294s 10
20 Robert Kubica Williams 3.346s 11

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