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Chinese GP: Bottas over Vettel in shortened Practice 3
Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas
In final practice before qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas topped the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel – but the session was cut short by a huge crash for Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon, who put his STR14 heavily into the wall on the pit straight.

Bottas was four tenths of a second over the two Ferraris of Vettel and Charles Leclerc with five minutes of Free Practice 3 remaining when Albon ran wide on the final corner. The Thai driver’s Toro Rosso wobbled on the astro turf before he was sent hurtling at worrying speed into the nearside track barrier.

Albon was soon out of the car and walking around, but the STR14 looked a long shot to be rebuilt in time for qualifying. That’s a shame, as both he and team mate Daniil Kvyat had shown strong pace, finishing the session in ninth and 10th respectively.

Behind Bottas and the two Ferraris, Lewis Hamilton failed to put one good lap together to end up fourth, while Nico Hulkenberg was once again impressive for Renault to go P5 – as he was in FP2 – ahead of the similarly impressive Kimi Raikkonen, sixth for Alfa Romeo.

Max Verstappen will be hoping for a better performance in qualifying than we saw in FP3, ending up P7 and 1.6s off the pace – although he was comfortably clear of Pierre Gasly, who wound up 15th, although the Frenchman didn’t deign to use the soft tires – while Verstappen’s former Toro Rosso team mate Carlos Sainz was eighth for McLaren.

Practice 3 Results

1Valtteri BottasMercedes1m32.830s0.000s11
2Sebastian VettelFerrari1m33.222s0.392s12
3Charles LeclercFerrari1m33.248s0.418s10
4Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m33.689s0.859s10
5Nico HulkenbergRenault1m33.974s1.144s11
6Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo/Ferrari1m34.246s1.416s14
7Max VerstappenRed Bull/Honda1m34.447s1.617s5
8Carlos Sainz Jr.McLaren/Renault1m34.510s1.680s9
9Alexander AlbonToro Rosso/Honda1m34.600s1.770s11
10Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Honda1m34.783s1.953s10
11Lando NorrisMcLaren/Renault1m34.938s2.108s11
12Sergio PerezRacing Point/Mercedes1m35.078s2.248s9
13Daniel RicciardoRenault1m35.142s2.312s11
14Lance StrollRacing Point/Mercedes1m35.223s2.393s10
15Pierre GaslyRed Bull/Honda1m35.326s2.496s8
16Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo/Ferrari1m35.726s2.896s12
17Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari1m35.771s2.941s14
18Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari1m35.998s3.168s15
19George RussellWilliams/Mercedes1m36.124s3.294s10
20Robert KubicaWilliams/Mercedes1m36.176s3.346s11

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