Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Shanghai International Circuit, 2017

Ferrari lead Mercedes in final practice

2017 Chinese Grand Prix third practice

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Sebastian Vettel headed a Ferrari one-two in final practice for the Chinese Grand Prix ahead of the two Mercedes drivers.

Considerably warmer and drier conditions at the Shanghai International Circuit meant there was no repeat of the disruption which affected yesterday’s practice running. The final hour of practice was completed without incident.

Vettel set the quickest time just after the halfway point in the session, producing a 1’33.336 on super-softs which put him over a second clear of his team mate at the time. Kimi Raikkonen then joined his team mate at the top of the times a scant five-hundredths of a second slower.

The Mercedes drivers struggled to match the pace of the Ferrari pair. On his final lap Lewis Hamilton went quickest of all in the first sector but ran wide at the turn 14 hairpin. He ended up fourth behind team mate Valtteri Bottas, who had also lost time with a scruffy, kerb-bashing run through the final turn.

The four quickest cars had a substantial gap of almost a second over the next-quickest car, Felipe Massa’s Williams. The team’s second car driven by Lance Stroll also featured in the top ten, separated from his team mate by the two Red Bulls, which lagged over a second and a half off Ferrari’s pace.

Jolyon Palmer and Carlos Sainz Jnr completed the top ten. Kevin Magnussen was the quickest of the two Haas drivers in 12th, while team mate Romain Grosjean complained over severe balance problems as he pitted at the end of the session.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1’33.33620
27Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’33.3890.05319
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1’33.7070.37126
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’33.8790.54325
519Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’34.7731.43723
633Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’34.9461.61020
73Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’35.0921.75623
818Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’35.1821.84624
930Jolyon PalmerRenault1’35.1921.85621
1055Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’35.2231.88724
1127Nico HulkenbergRenault1’35.4492.11322
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’35.5212.18522
1311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’35.6262.29020
148Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’35.6802.34422
1526Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’35.8042.46823
1631Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’35.8112.47524
1714Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’35.9122.57617
189Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’36.0632.72725
192Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda1’36.2212.88521
2036Antonio GiovinazziSauber-Ferrari1’36.7053.36924

Third practice visual gaps

Sebastian Vettel – 1’33.336

+0.053 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’33.389

+0.371 Valtteri Bottas – 1’33.707

+0.543 Lewis Hamilton – 1’33.879

+1.437 Felipe Massa – 1’34.773

+1.610 Max Verstappen – 1’34.946

+1.756 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’35.092

+1.846 Lance Stroll – 1’35.182

+1.856 Jolyon Palmer – 1’35.192

+1.887 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’35.223

+2.113 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’35.449

+2.185 Kevin Magnussen – 1’35.521

+2.290 Sergio Perez – 1’35.626

+2.344 Romain Grosjean – 1’35.680

+2.468 Daniil Kvyat – 1’35.804

+2.475 Esteban Ocon – 1’35.811

+2.576 Fernando Alonso – 1’35.912

+2.727 Marcus Ericsson – 1’36.063

+2.885 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’36.221

+3.369 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’36.705

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Sebastian VettelFerrari1’33.33622
2Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’33.38920
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1’54.6641’33.707-20.95730
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’33.87927
5Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’52.0861’34.773-17.31330
6Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’50.4911’34.946-15.54524
7Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’54.0381’35.092-18.94630
8Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’52.5071’35.182-17.32531
9Jolyon PalmerRenault1’35.19224
10Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’52.8401’35.223-17.61729
11Nico HulkenbergRenault1’55.6081’35.449-20.15928
12Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’55.1041’35.521-19.58330
13Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’35.62623
14Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’53.0391’35.680-17.35928
15Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’53.3141’35.804-17.5127
16Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’35.81126
17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’53.5201’35.912-17.60822
18Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari2’15.1381’36.063-39.07529
19Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda1’57.4451’36.221-21.22425
20Antonio GiovinazziSauber-Ferrari2’15.2811’36.705-38.57628

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Keith Collantine
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29 comments on “Ferrari lead Mercedes in final practice”

  1. Interesting.

  2. That scary gap between Merc and williams in the chart
    Going to be tight i guess but i wont be disappointed if Merc suddenly improves alot in Q3-The Dark mode :) atleast they are getting pushed which isn’t the case for last 3 years

    1. I think it should be close in qualifying as Merc always get their game face on in Q3. But, I’m guessing, for the 2nd weekend in a row it’s Hamilton and Vettel locking out the front row. I actually think Williams are the 3rd fastest team this weekend… only because Lance Stroll matched the pace of the Red Bulls. I think Massa has a good shot at P5 in the race.

      Mclaren are dead last this weekend.

      1. @todfod i agree but lets wait to see how much Massa can improve from here to Q3 lets not forget RBR can easily hide their pace not by the stretch of the fight to top 4 but can easily dispatch Massa. and about Ham and Seb front row my heart says its possible but my head says the dark mode means it can be easily merc 1-2 so don’t get hype :)

        About Mclaren from what i saw in Fp3 the car looked good on high speed sections its not bad in comparison to where they are the power out is what causing them to loss the balance as soon as they step on throttle, overall with the new chassis for alonso ( i heard it but not sure) and vandoorne its ok in terms of balance, so its good compared to Australia where it really looked nervous every time. Honda is the issue hope they improve in next iteration.

        1. I was tempted to predict a P5 for Massa in the race, but with a likely wet track at the start, and Williams track record with that, and considering Verstappen will likely be next to him, or just behind on that wet track, I can’t see Massa keeping Verstappen behind over the race.

          As for the Q3 figtht for pole, HAM easily lost .3s in that corner, BOT probably won’t be flawless yet (did he do any fast flawless lap today?) so I expect it to be close between VET,HAM. Up to your feelings, I think who of the two will prevail there.

          1. @bosyber
            I don’t have an account mate just the normal one :)
            Well as i said earlier i think Massa need to be on his limit to be ahead unless Rbr just don’t have any thing in their car here to improve vs Massa in Williams which i doubt. so a P7 wont be bad but over all i can’t give a clear prediction of what they can do.
            About Q3 fight i doubt that we might even see a Vet and Ham front row simply because this is Merc track a Pure Merc track since 2010 they are really good here and with the Dark Modes i guess a Merc 1-2 and less chances of Ham and Seb i hope to get wrong though.

          2. its just around 1 hour for q start so lets find out who gets the better. Im glad that Ferrari is atleast pushing mercs so far and i hope it continues for the sake of F1. I dont have any fav teams or drivers but the big thing is we as fans need a competitive battle at the front to keep the viewers interesting and if two teams battling out then its much better instead of two drivers in same team

          3. @bosyber

            I actually put Massa in P5. Even though he might not qualify in P5, I think he has the straight line advantage on the Red Bulls and that should keep him in the hunt for P5 on the race weekend. If it rains however, I would put P5 down to either Ricciardo or the Hulk.

  3. Prashanth (@)
    8th April 2017, 6:08

    Nice to see Vettel shine in P3.

    1. Still P though, but promising to have a multi-team fight at the sharp end.

      I found it ‘nicer’ to see that they already shaved 2sec off last year’s pole time.

      1. Prashanth (@)
        8th April 2017, 7:57

        Vettel looks extremely fresh in the Qualifying. Not much gap expected between Hamilton though.

  4. This just shows how much Ferrari have improved. Good for them.

    Lewis usually has 3 proverbial Hamilton tenths… so once quali comes they should be about equal.

    1. ‘Hamiltenths’ you mean :)

  5. I wish it were the red bulls that were quick. Can’t stand finger boy. He’s so annoying when he wins.

    1. Better than an obnoxious little boy who already thinks he is Jesus because people patted him on the head a little too often, he needs to learn to be humble first

    2. As for Ric I’m fully with you

    3. hating on the finger boy whats this early 2010s already?

  6. There is only one thing that i forgot to add Vettel set his time much earlier than any of top 4, dont know how much track evolution might have effected to other 3, i just hope its tight

  7. Is the 1:32:238 lap record (2004) within reach this afternoon if the track stays dry?

  8. Key things in qualifying:

    1. How much extra does Mercedes have from FP3 to Q3?
    2. How much extra does Vettel have over kimi (it is definitely more than 0.5 tenths)?
    3. Is Antonio going to be slower than Marcus still?
    4. Massa to beat Red Bulls?
    5. What would be the gap between Fernando and Vandoorne?

    1. 1. About a second.
      2. Difficult to say, but I’d bet it’s not more than 0.2-0.3s
      3. Yep
      4. No
      5. 3 places on the grid

      1. The beat Mercedes sectors together put them about 0.15 ahead of Seb. They will find another 0.5 in qualifying and I think Seb will find another 0.25. So, that means Seb would be around 0.4 behind the theoretical best Mercedes time. I don’t think that is enough for both Mercedes to beat Seb.

    2. 1. Little over a second
      2. A tenth
      3. Yes.. but just a tiny bit
      4. Yes. Stroll’s time shows that Massa’s got the edge on them
      5. They’ll be split by one of the Saubers, but none of them are going to make it to Q2.

    3. 1) Hard to know but they’ll be at least equal to Ferrari.
      2) You base this on Australia? A single qualy session… Need I remind you who was the faster Ferrari driver in China last year?
      3) No, AG will beat ME.
      4) Highly unlikely IMO.
      5) 3 tenths.

  9. Looks like they really did fix Palmer’s Renault.

    1. @grippgoat glad you mentioned that. I read all the comments and no one else seemed to notice he posted a faster lap than Hulkenburg, which in itself is only relevant in that it adds some balance to the negativity about Palmer earlier in the week. I hope he does well.

Comments are closed.