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Ferrari split by narrow margins ahead of qualifying – FP3 Report

Chinese Grand Prix – Ferrari had a 1-2 result in FP3 with Sebastian Vettel leading team mate Kimi Raikkonen by just half a tenth of a second.

The German did a lap time of 1:33.336, just 1.1 seconds away from Michael Schumacher’s 2004 fastest lap record time.

Mercedes appeared to struggle by comparison, with Valtteri Bottas four tenths of a second off the pace.

The Finn lost his T-wing early in the session, which Mercedes could not replace during the session. The team could be asked to remove the wing from their car if they cannot prove its structural stability to the FIA.

Lewis Hamilton was a further tenth of a second away after running too deep into the Turn 14 hairpin on his final qualifying simulation effort.

The 60-minute session is the only proper running the teams have had this weekend after severe weather conditions saw Friday running abandoned.

Felipe Massa was fifth fastest with Williams looking to be in a stronger position than it was in Australia. The Brazilian was ahead of both Red Bull drivers, with team mate Lance Stroll also inside the top ten in eighth.

Both Red Bulls were more than one-and-a-half-seconds off the ultimate pace, with Max Verstappen sixth and Daniel Ricciardo seventh.

Jolyon Palmer spun at Turn 11 but still put his Renault inside the top ten in ninth ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr and team mate Nico Hulkenberg.

Kevin Magnussen was the top Haas driver in 12th with Force India’s Sergio Perez between him and his team mate Romain Grosjean.

Daniil Kvyat was the only driver to set their fastest time on the soft tyre in 15th ahead of Esteban Ocon.

The two McLarens were 17th and 19th with Fernando Alonso ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne. Marcus Ericsson spun at Turn 8 but still finished the session ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi.

Click here to see the results of the session.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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