Chinese GP: Alonso keeps Ferrari on top in FP3

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa kept Ferrari on top of the times in the final practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix

Chinese GP: Alonso keeps Ferrari on top in FP3

The Spaniard's best lap of 1m35.391s was still slower than the benchmark set by Massa in second practice on Friday. The Brazilian was second quickest on Saturday morning, over six tenths behind his team-mate.

Lewis Hamilton finished third for Mercedes as team-mate Nico Rosberg had to settle for 14th position after being unable to set a time with the soft Pirelli tyres.

World champion Sebastian Vettel outpaced Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber for the first time this weekend to finish in fourth position, right ahead of the Australian, who completed the top five.

Force India's Adrian Sutil was sixth ahead of the first Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren's Jenson Button and Sergio Perez and the Sauber of Nico Hulkenberg, who rounded up the top 10.

Caterham's Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde were the first men to appear in the timesheets, the duo the only men to post a timed lap in the first 10 minutes of the session.

Perez jumped to the top of the times nearly 20 minutes in, becoming the first driver from a top team to set a time. He was promptly outpaced by Romain Grosjean in the Lotus, the Frenchman relegated by team-mate Raikkonen just moments later.

With a quarter of final practice gone, it was FP1 pacesetter Rosberg who moved to the top with the first 1m37s lap of the hour-long session. Team-mate Hamilton bettered his time three minutes later as Vettel went second quickest behind the Briton, both men still far from the leading times from Friday.

Hamilton was first to move into the 1m36s at the half-hour mark, while Rosberg put the other Mercedes in second position ahead of Vettel.

Ferrari drivers Alonso and Massa waited until the second half of the session to complete their first timed laps, the Spaniard moving to fifth spot 28 minutes in with used medium tyres. Friday pacesetter Massa went sixth quickest with his first attempt seconds later.

The soft tyres made their appearance with less than 20 minutes left, with Rosberg and Raikkonen the first of the frontrunners to try the yellow-marked rubber.

The German, however, aborted his first attempt and complained about excessive bottoming, returning to the pits without setting a time. His mechanics started working on the car immediately and he would not return to the track.

Team-mate Hamilton also slowed down right after posting the quickest time in the first sector, also using soft tyres, but the Briton continued for another run.

Although his first sector was not as strong as before, Hamilton posted the best time of the session with a lap of 1m36.065s which put him over a second clear of the rest of the field at the time.

With most teams eager to save their soft tyres, the action was sparse as the session reached the final 10 minutes. Raikkonen jumped to second with eight minutes to go, but the Finn was still over half a second off Hamilton's pace. He was soon outpaced by Sutil, but the Mercedes driver's time was still out of reach.

Most drivers finally jumped onto the circuit with five minutes left, Alonso setting the fastest time of the day with a 1m35.391s, still slower than Massa's best from Friday. The Brazilian moved to second ahead of Hamilton.

 Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m35.391s 13 2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m36.013s + 0.622s 11 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m36.065s + 0.674s 18 4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m36.286s + 0.895s 17 5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m36.420s + 1.029s 15 6. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m36.549s + 1.158s 16 7. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m36.605s + 1.214s 16 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.693s + 1.302s 16 9. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.777s + 1.386s 16 10. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.853s + 1.462s 15 11. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.072s + 1.681s 15 12. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m37.205s + 1.814s 18 13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m37.300s + 1.909s 11 14. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m37.349s + 1.958s 12 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m37.457s + 2.066s 16 16. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m37.487s + 2.096s 13 17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m37.740s + 2.349s 20 18. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m37.813s + 2.422s 16 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m38.496s + 3.105s 17 20. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m38.821s + 3.430s 18 21. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m39.627s + 4.236s 16 22. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m39.652s + 4.261s 18 

AUTOSPORT Chinese GP coverage:

FP1 FP2 FP3 Qualifying Race Gallery Live commentary Official quotes

shares
comments
Hulkenberg wants more from Sauber to get season back on track
Previous article

Hulkenberg wants more from Sauber to get season back on track

Next article

Chinese GP: Webber fears he will start from the back of the grid

Chinese GP: Webber fears he will start from the back of the grid
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1’s champion isn’t fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Plus

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Plus

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title Plus

The “solemn promise” that cost quiet hero Brooks an F1 title

After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full

Formula 1
Jun 27, 2022
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022