F1 »

Alonso fastest in FP3 at Chinese GP

Fernando Alonso kept Ferrari at the front of the field in final F1 practice at the Chinese Grand Prix, but Mercedes threat remains despite Rosberg woe.

Ferrari continued to state its case for at least a pole position at the Chinese Grand Prix as Fernando Alonso claimed fastest time in the third and final free practice session at the Shanghai International Circuit.

The Spaniard was backed up by team-mate Felipe Massa, who had led the way on the opening day, as both drivers looked more at home on the soft-compound Pirelli that had caused more than a few headaches in earlier sessions.

With the fastest runs coming towards the end of the 60-minute session, Alonso took his F138 round in 1min 35.391secs, almost a second faster than his team-mate, who managed a 1min 36.013secs best, putting him narrowly ahead of the best of the Mercedes drivers.

Lewis Hamilton upheld the honour of the Three Pointed Star in third spot after team-mate – and FP1 pacesetter – Nico Rosberg had been hobbled by mechanical problems. Although the German initially diagnosed a suspension breakage, the team later confirmed that it had been a hydraulic problem, albeit possibly linked to the W04's innovative new suspension system.

Rosberg cast a disconsolate figure after climbing from the cockpit and, unable to complete a soft tyre run ahead of qualifying, slumped to 14th overall. Mercedes looked better than Ferrari on the harder medium-compound tyre that will be the preferred rubber for the race, with Rosberg backing up Hamilton's pace in that phase of the session.

Red Bull, which is still expected to ramp up its assault once qualifying starts, had to settle for fourth and fifth, with Sebastian Vettel just over a tenth clear of Mark Webber as both cars ran the latest development package. Vettel, however, was nearly a second off Alonso's pace, with his team-mate the wrong side of the same mark.

Adrian Sutil confirmed Force India's potential in sixth spot, a tenth off Webber, while Kimi Raikkonen headed the McLaren pair of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez. Both Force India and Lotus, however, suffered mixed fortunes in the session, with Paul di Resta and Romain Grosjean down in 16th and 18th respectively.

While Button continued in similar vein to Friday – posting respectable times despite continuing to lament his set-up – team-mate Perez enjoyed a more productive session than either of Friday's. The Mexican was just 0.084secs off Button's time, and managed to steer clear of the tyre walls.

Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten for Sauber, ahead of Toro Rosso twins Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo, with Williams' Pastor Maldonado also squeezing in ahead of Rosberg. The German was sandwiched by the other Williams, as Valtteri Bottas got ahead of di Resta, while Esteban Gutierrez edging Grosjean ahead of the 'final four', where Jules Bianchi again led the way for Marussia.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
12.04.2013- Free Practice 2, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
12.04.2013- Free Practice 1, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
12.04.2013- Free Practice 2, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8
12.04.2013- Free Practice 2, Adrian Sutil (GER), Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM06
12.04.2013- Free Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
12.04.2013- Free Practice 1, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F138
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Crash, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Crash, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB13
23.06.2017 - Free Practice 1, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.