Shanghai Free Practice 3 – Mercedes still ahead

Sat, 11 April 2015, 07:22

Lewis Hamilton continued calling the shots in the last practice session before qualifying for the Chinese GP Formula 1. Even managing to not repeat the mark with which topped the Friday sessions, the English put the Mercedes at the top, with his team-mate Nico Rosberg in second.

Ferrari was further than Friday: Sebastian Vettel made the third time, nearly seven-tenths slower than Hamilton, with Kimi Raikkonen just behind.

After failing to sort simulation after running in training on Friday, Felipe Massa did not have a good performance, closing the practice in 11th place. Showing that Williams is not well, Valtteri Bottas was only eighth, behind Red Bull and Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz.

Saturday started badly for Fernando Alonso, who had an engine problem and was on the way to his first lap in training. The Spaniard, who hoped to fight to get into Q2, is the only one who is using the third unit of the turbo and the MGU-H in the season. When reach the fifth unit of any of the power unit elements, the pilot will begin to be punished.

With ambient temperature of 17ºC, Nico Rosberg began the training, using medium tires, putting the Mercedes in front, but the Ferrari seemed better suited to the harder compound of the weekend compared to Friday’s practice, with Sebastian Vettel managing to stay just over a tenth of his compatriot. As happened in first practice, Lewis Hamilton took the lead once he entered the track.

Felipe Massa jumped to fifth place, but soon returned to the pits with an unusual problem: the Brazilian complained that there was smoke in the cockpit, but Williams said there was no problem and said he could go if he wanted . “I would never be happy with a smoke in my cockpit,” the driver replied.

Who also made an unusual complaint was Hamilton, who asked that the staff from installing another seat because “it’s too hot here.”

When they did racing simulations, in the final minutes, the drivers found a much hotter track condition than expected for China, with the temperature close to 25 ° C and 30 ° C over the asphalt.

The first of pointers to put the soft tires was Rosberg, who won 2,2 with the fastest compound, six-tenths slower than the best mark of the weekend. The German was easily overcome by Hamilton, who won 2s1 for his best lap with the medium tires and took the lead with 1min37s615.

As happened on Friday, Red Bull, with the soft tires, overcame Williams, who failed to improve with the fastest compound: Massa lowered his mark on 1s5. Vettel, for example, improved 2s3.

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