Max Verstappen headed a badly disrupted first practice session at the Shanghai International Circuit.
The red flags flew for much of the session due to repeated problems caused by poor visibility at the circuit which prevented the medical helicopter from being able to reach the nearby hospital.
Practice was suspended after just four minutes of running and did not resume until half its alloted 90-minute slot has expired. Once it resumed the session was brought to another stop with 20 minutes to go and finally abandoned five minutes before it was scheduled to end.
Damp conditions at the track made for a tricky session during the brief periods when the cars did run. Both Haas drivers slipped up at turn nine and Kevin Magnussen went off the circuit at two other points as well.
Nico Hulkenberg spun into a gravel trap shortly before the session was stopped for good. The Renault driver had been told his intermediate tyres were “heavily damaged already” just before he went off.
Max Verstappen set the quickest time of the session, one-and-a-half seconds clear of the two Williams drivers. All the cars managed to do at least one installation lap, but only six of them set times.
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-TAG Heuer||1’50.491||4|
|4||55||Carlos Sainz Jnr||Toro Rosso-Renault||1’52.840||2.349||5|
|6||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso-Renault||1’53.314||2.823||4|
|8||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-TAG Heuer||1’54.038||3.547||7|
|18||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India-Mercedes||2|
|19||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||3|