Vettel leads FP3 in China; Police escort secured

If practice, the first dry one, is anything to go on, the Chinese Grand Prix could be a competitive one to watch as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel set the pace in the final session prior to qualifying. 

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m33.336s 20
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m33.389s 0.053s 19
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m33.707s 0.371s 26
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m33.879s 0.543s 25
5 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m34.773s 1.437s 23
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m34.946s 1.610s 20
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m35.092s 1.756s 23
8 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m35.182s 1.846s 24
9 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m35.192s 1.856s 21
10 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m35.223s 1.887s 24
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m35.449s 2.113s 22
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m35.521s 2.185s 22
13 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m35.626s 2.290s 20
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m35.680s 2.344s 22
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m35.804s 2.468s 23
16 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m35.811s 2.475s 24
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m35.912s 2.576s 17
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m36.063s 2.727s 25
19 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m36.221s 2.885s 21
20 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber/Ferrari 1m36.705s 3.369s 24

Vettel was three tenths clear of the closest Mercedes driven by Valtteri Bottas and a full half second faster than Lewis Hamilton. Vettel’s teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, was just five hundredths of a second off the German’s pace. 

Felipe Mass pipped the two Red Bulls driving his Williams to fifth with his rookie teammate, Lance Stroll, doing a handy job in 8th. 

Helicopter rule

The FIA also have secured a police escort in case of inclement weather that might prevent the helicopter from flying. This escort is to insure that any person can reach a local hospital in 20 minutes or less…and FIA rule.  It was this very rule that spoiled the previous practice sessions. 

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