Lewis Hamilton headed both of Friday’s practice sessions for the Chinese Grand Prix, but Mercedes’ margin was reduced in the afternoon running.
Having enjoyed a comfortable margin of more than a second when using the medium tyres in first practice, Mercedes’ lead was reduced to less than half a second when teams ran the soft tyre. Hamilton’s best effort was a 1’37.219 – over a second quicker than he managed in the same session last year – but Kimi Raikkonen got closest to that with a 1’37.662.
Most drivers had completed their performance runs on the soft tyres when Felipe Massa lost control of his Williams under braking at turn 14. He nudged the barrier with his front wing and the session was red-flagged while the Williams was collected.
After practice resumed Daniel Ricciardo did his first time on soft tyres and went third fastest, though the Red Bull driver was more than a second adrift.
However his team mate experienced more of the braking problems which blighted the team’s Malaysian Grand Prix. Daniil Kvyat’s left-rear brake began smoking after a pit stop, and after a slow tour of the track he skidded off at turn 14 and damaged the front of his car.
Behind Kvyat in sixth place Williams, Sauber, Lotus and McLaren each got one of their cars in the top ten – Jenson Button lapping two seconds off the Mercedes pace in his MP4-30.
The session was not disrupted by the surprising appearance of a person running across the main straight. The figure ran towards the pit wall as cars were passing by.
|3||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||1’38.311||1.092||24|
|6||26||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull-Renault||1’38.737||1.518||10|
|14||33||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso-Renault||1’39.894||2.675||32|
|15||55||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso-Renault||1’39.971||2.752||28|
|16||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1’40.151||2.932||28|
|18||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1’40.868||3.649||24|
2015 Chinese Grand Prix
- Sponsor watch: 2015 Chinese & Bahrain Grands Prix
- Driver of the Weekend wins for Hamilton & Raikkonen
- Ferrari’s Mercedes challenge enlivens 2015 contest
- 2015 Chinese Grand Prix team radio transcript
- Top ten pictures from the 2015 Chinese Grand Prix