Ferrari top the times in final practice

2013 Chinese Grand Prix third practice

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Shanghai, 2013Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa headed the times as practice drew to a close at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Alonso was over six tenths of a second ahead of his team mate with Lewis Hamilton third and Sebastian Vettel fourth.

The session began with Charles Pic and Sergio Perez lapping, the pair having had compromised practice sessions on Friday. Their rivals joined them on track as the conditions improved, though Mark Webber and the Ferrari pair spent the first half hour in the pits.

The Lotus drivers led the way initially but were quickly overhauled by the Mercedes. Hamilton set a 1’36.961 on medium tyres with team mate Nico Rosberg within four tenths of a second of him.

When the Ferraris joined the track they slotted in behind the Mercedes and Red Bulls with their first laps, Felipe Massa complaining of oversteer on his car.

The Mercedes pair were the first to tackle the track on the faster soft tyres, but Rosberg immediately reported a problem with his car and returned to the pits so the team could investigate the suspension springs on his W04.

Hamilton lowered his best time to a 1’36.065 but it came on his second run after aborting his first attempt. Both Ferrari drivers beat his mark, Alonso by six tenths of a second, Massa by considerably less after catching Adrian Sutil at the end of his run. However Alonso’s best was a few hundredths shy of the time set by Massa yesterday.

Red Bull left their soft tyre runs until the end of the session but couldn’t beat Hamilton’s mark, let alone get close to Alonso’s time. Vettel had to settle for fourth, almost nine tenths of a second off the Ferrari.

Kimi Raikkonen took seventh for Lotus while Romain Grosjean struggled to find front end grip in his car and ended the session 18th. The two McLarens and Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber completed the top ten.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
13Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’35.39113
24Felipe MassaFerrari1’36.0130.62211
310Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’36.0650.67418
41Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’36.2860.89517
52Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’36.4201.02915
615Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’36.5491.15816
77Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’36.6051.21416
85Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’36.6931.30216
96Sergio PerezMcLaren1’36.7771.38616
1011Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’36.8531.46215
1118Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’37.0721.68115
1219Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’37.2051.81418
1316Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’37.3001.90911
149Nico RosbergMercedes1’37.3491.95812
1517Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’37.4572.06616
1614Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’37.4872.09613
1712Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’37.7402.34920
188Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’37.8132.42216
1922Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’38.4963.10517
2020Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’38.8213.43018
2123Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’39.6274.23616
2221Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’39.6524.26118

Chinese Grand Prix combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Felipe MassaFerrari1’38.0951’35.3401’36.013+0.67357
2Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’37.9651’35.7551’35.391-0.36460
3Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’38.7901’35.4921’36.605+1.11364
4Nico RosbergMercedes1’36.7171’35.8191’37.349+1.5368
5Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’37.1711’36.4961’36.065-0.43177
6Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’37.6581’36.0921’36.420+0.32867
7Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’37.9421’36.7911’36.286-0.50564
8Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’38.0691’36.4321’36.693+0.26170
9Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’38.1251’36.5141’36.549+0.03569
10Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’38.5611’36.5951’37.487+0.89261
11Sergio PerezMcLaren1’39.3601’36.9401’36.777-0.16352
12Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’39.1801’38.2111’36.853-1.35868
13Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’38.3981’36.9631’37.813+0.8564
14Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.0571’38.1271’37.072-1.05568
15Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’40.0321’37.1031’37.740+0.63764
16Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’39.3361’37.2061’37.205-0.00176
17Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’39.1581’38.2761’37.300-0.97667
18Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’39.3921’38.1851’37.457-0.72855
19Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’41.9661’38.7251’38.496-0.22962
20Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’39.8141’38.821-0.99345
21Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’42.0831’39.2711’39.652+0.38160
22Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’42.0561’43.2271’39.627-2.42939
23Ma Qing HuaCaterham-Renault1’43.54520

2013 Chinese Grand Prix

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Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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4 comments on “Ferrari top the times in final practice”

  1. Hm, still a bit unsure what to predict then. I think Kimi is not really on it, although they could change setup back to what they had yesterday. But the car did not look great on softs today, and it looked unimpressive on the mediums too.

    It could be a Ferrari for pole, although Hamilton did 6 laps? after his fastest lap. And that lap was more of a show what you can do when you spare the tyres after an early mistake than an absolute top speed lap. And Rosberg could be even faster, but will he handle the pressure after not getting a test run in FP3?

    I don’t think the Red Bulls will really be into the pole shootout, although its hard to count Vettel out. And I guess Sutil could do a very solid qualifying as well, and might be good for a top 5.

  2. That looks like we are headed for a red afternoon. Ferrari could be really fast. I don’t think any one sand bags at this stage of the weekend.

  3. Really wanted to see what the Mercedes was truly capable of, but with Hamilton aborting his first soft tired run (after going purple in sector 1 too) and Rosberg not even getting a chance to run on the options, I’m gonna go ahead & assume that they’re there or thereabouts… 2nd best at least. Alonso definitely rising to the challenge of Massa, & it would seem that Ferrari have found a decent bit of one lap pace. Red Bull are gonna be in the hunt, even though they are sorely lacking in the top speed department, but discount them at your own peril, IMO. Force India looking pretty darn good (in Sutil’s hands, at least)… Lotus, fairly decent as well, but still looking a bit twitchy. Practice isn’t qualifying though, so I’m still not willing to predict anything. Should be an interesting session though, & even more interesting race on Sunday.

  4. What I saw from qualifying team by team. Ferrari has very little to improve time wise. Mercedes should go quicker if they get their one lap right. Red Bull needs to find a good balance for the option tyre, the car had grip but had a poor balance. Kimi’s fastest lap was very twitchy, so he has some time to gain if they can solve the over-steering. The difference between both compounds seems to be compounded by the change in balance that follows, most teams will save fresh mediums for the race so strictly mediums for the top teams in Q1 and soft for Q2 and Q3. All things considered in my view qualifying order will be Mercedes first Red Bull second and Ferrari third, most likely all in tandem as typical at this circuit.

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