Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Shanghai, 2012

Hamilton fastest again in final practice in China

2012 Chinese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Shanghai, 2012Lewis Hamilton ended practice for the Chinese Grand Prix fastest for McLaren.

He posted a 1’35.940, fractionally quicker than Michael Schumacher’s best time from yesterday.

Team mate Jenson Button was second fastest ahead of the two Mercedes.

Mark Webber headed the times early in the session on medium tyres.

But the Mercedes drivers made an early switch to the soft compounds and took over the top of the times – first Schumacher, then Rosberg, who instantly pipped his team mate’s best effort by 0.123s.

With ten minutes to go Button did his first soft tyre lap and put the McLaren on top by a tenth of a second. He backed off on his next lap, then lowered his time to a 1’36.063.

Hamilton began his first soft tyre lap with five minutes to go. He was quickest of all in the first two sectors but lost a little time in the final third, locking up briefly at the hairpin. Nonetheless he was still quickest, a tenth faster than his team mate.

Mark Webber was fifth ahead of Pastor Maldonado and the Saubers of Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi. The latter pair were comfortably quickest in the speed trap.

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen completed the top ten.

Ferrari look set to struggle in qualifying. Fernando Alonso was only 15th fastest, Felipe Massa 18th.

With the track temperature around 10C higher than yesterday, several drivers failed to improve on their fastest time from yesterday, including Schumacher and both Red Bull drivers.

Pos.CarDriverCarBest lapGapLaps
14Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’35.94013
23Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’36.0630.12312
38Nico RosbergMercedes1’36.3890.44916
47Michael SchumacherMercedes1’36.5120.57217
52Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’36.6350.69516
618Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’36.7650.82517
715Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’36.7810.84119
814Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’36.8800.94017
91Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’37.0391.09915
109Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’37.0611.12117
1112Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’37.2371.29716
1210Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’37.2741.33419
1311Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’37.2881.34816
1419Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’37.4251.48514
155Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’37.4651.52512
1617Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’37.4931.55313
1716Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’37.6281.68814
186Felipe MassaFerrari1’37.8311.89114
1921Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’38.7012.76119
2020Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’39.1983.25818
2124Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’39.7963.85618
2225Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’40.0484.10817
2323Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’41.2635.32314
2422Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’41.4995.55918

Chinese Grand Prix combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’37.1061’36.1451’35.940-0.20549
2Michael SchumacherMercedes1’38.3161’35.9731’36.512+0.53963
3Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’39.1991’36.7111’36.063-0.64846
4Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’39.1981’36.1601’37.039+0.87954
5Nico RosbergMercedes1’38.1161’36.6171’36.389-0.22861
6Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’38.9771’36.4331’36.635+0.20255
7Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’40.5401’38.1761’36.765-1.41164
8Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’38.5841’37.4171’36.781-0.63654
9Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’38.9111’36.9561’36.880-0.07657
10Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’36.9661’37.288+0.32247
11Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’50.4651’37.8361’37.061-0.77558
12Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’40.3281’37.1911’37.237+0.04660
13Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’41.2041’37.9721’37.274-0.69859
14Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’40.0561’37.3161’37.465+0.14958
15Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’38.7831’37.425-1.35851
16Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.7681’37.9301’37.493-0.43759
17Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.7481’37.6161’37.628+0.01263
18Felipe MassaFerrari1’40.1531’38.2931’37.831-0.46259
19Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’39.3461’38.701-0.64539
20Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’41.0711’38.9901’39.198+0.20868
21Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’42.3301’39.6511’39.796+0.14547
22Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’44.5001’40.7531’40.048-0.70562
23Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’40.298
24Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’44.2271’40.3431’41.499+1.15653
25Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’47.2041’41.1251’41.263+0.13852
26Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’42.521
27Jules BianchiForce India-Mercedes1’44.118

2012 Chinese Grand Prix

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “Hamilton fastest again in final practice in China”

  1. Felipe down there again, I think it is time Ferrari let him go.

    1. To be honest, this year its mostly the car being hopeless. Not easy to find another driver that can haul that into Q3 or the points.

      1. But at least Alonso can get a top Q2 bottom – middle Q3, Massa is borderline Q1 but just gets to Q2.

        1. Sure, but that is not the point here, is it. Human Cloning is not working that well and fast to enable Ferrari to put him in 2 cars!

          So instead they would have to find another driver, and there really is no one who would be available mid season and being as fast or faster. Or should they try and call up Rubens maybe?

        2. @formula-1 Also, this is practice remember.

    2. Massa is slow, but, can’t really judge it this time. would make much more sense if Alonso was P7 or something but even he is down there in P15, which means the car isn’t working for both of them.
      The real problem lies in the fact that Alonso can score points even from P24 while Massa can either crash/slide/spin or finish in a real bad position. But nobody knows if some other driver can drive this car the way Alonso can. With that view, moving to Ferrari mid-season might turn out to be a big mistake (Look what happened when Fis moved to Ferrari, despite doing great in Force India) and maybe the next year you are going to be labelled as ‘test/reserve’ and replaced by yet another driver, possibly Kubica.

  2. It surely looks like McLaren are still ahead. Lets hope Mercedes can at least get both cars on the first 2 rows and not fall back too far this time.

    How long ago is it, that Webber outqualified Vettel (or another team mate?) 3 times in a row?

    1. 2010 Spainish, Monaco, Turkish and Canadian Grand prixs.

      1. Ah, yes. The run of races that ended with Silverstone and THAT front wing!

    2. i would like to think they have gone for a better race set-up and are slightly down on qualifying speed, otherwise they may have been in front of McLaren, well i am hopping that is the case…

  3. Ferrari very down on their qualifying chances:

    In a track where traction and speed are the key factor, a car with problems in these two areas is destined to suffer

    http://twitter.com/InsideFerrari/statuses/191018135749541888

    1. Interesting that Sauber also note how they will struggle on top speed. Something with the Ferrari rear end?

      1. I had noticed that they didn’t make much impact on the speed trap @bascb

    2. definitely a FAIL,
      shame because we have a great battle up front and could have even been better…

  4. sid_prasher (@)
    14th April 2012, 6:04

    Ferrari just better than the bottom 3? Surely not (I hope pray)!

  5. No combined best sectors?

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