Chinese Grand Prix – Free Practice – Report

Round 3 of the Formula 1 season is underway with all the three free practice sessions done now. Despite Valtteri Bottas leading two of the three sessions, Mercedes seems to not have come terms with the circuit yet.

The results so far:

SessionP1P2P3
FP 1Sebastian Vettel
1:33:911
Lewis Hamilton
1:34.118
Charles Leclerc
1:34.167
FP 2Valterri Bottas
1:33.330
Sebastian Vettel
1:33.357
Max Verstappen
1:33.551
FP 3Valterri Bottas
1:32.830
Sebastian Vettel
1:33.222
Charles Leclerc
1:33.248

To compare with the previous year’s qualification:

Cut Off ForLap Time
Pole Position1:31.095
Front Row Grid1:31.182
Q31:32.524
Q21:34.013

The Qualification P1 of 1:31.095 by Sebastian Vettel is ~2.00 seconds improvement over the best lap recorded during the free practice sessions. A simple projection would indicate a similar lap time would earn the pole position. Given the conditions and the performances so far, it would surprising if 1:31 barrier is breached.

The rankings of the drivers at the aggregate level:

Free Practice Performance:

Best Driver : Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) edge Valterri Bottas owing to the consistency more than the times |

Surprise Performer: Nico Hulkenberg of Renault (P12, P5, and P5 so far)

Moment of the Free Practice: Albon crashes into the barriers which looked nasty but thankfully he is fine. He is now cleared from the medical center. However, due to the extent of the damage suffered to his car, he will not be a part of qualifying.

Technical challenges:

  1. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo): PU installation issue
  2. Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): Precautionary PU change
  3. Romain Grosjean (Haas): Front wing failure
  4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): Cooling system checks

Detailed classifications:

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