Hamilton fastest again in final practice in China

2012 Chinese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Shanghai, 2012Lewis Hamilton ended practice for the Chinese Grand Prix fastest for McLaren.

He posted a 1’35.940, fractionally quicker than Michael Schumacher’s best time from yesterday.

Team mate Jenson Button was second fastest ahead of the two Mercedes.

Mark Webber headed the times early in the session on medium tyres.

But the Mercedes drivers made an early switch to the soft compounds and took over the top of the times – first Schumacher, then Rosberg, who instantly pipped his team mate’s best effort by 0.123s.

With ten minutes to go Button did his first soft tyre lap and put the McLaren on top by a tenth of a second. He backed off on his next lap, then lowered his time to a 1’36.063.

Hamilton began his first soft tyre lap with five minutes to go. He was quickest of all in the first two sectors but lost a little time in the final third, locking up briefly at the hairpin. Nonetheless he was still quickest, a tenth faster than his team mate.

Mark Webber was fifth ahead of Pastor Maldonado and the Saubers of Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi. The latter pair were comfortably quickest in the speed trap.

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen completed the top ten.

Ferrari look set to struggle in qualifying. Fernando Alonso was only 15th fastest, Felipe Massa 18th.

With the track temperature around 10C higher than yesterday, several drivers failed to improve on their fastest time from yesterday, including Schumacher and both Red Bull drivers.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’35.940 13
2 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’36.063 0.123 12
3 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’36.389 0.449 16
4 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’36.512 0.572 17
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’36.635 0.695 16
6 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’36.765 0.825 17
7 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’36.781 0.841 19
8 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’36.880 0.940 17
9 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’37.039 1.099 15
10 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’37.061 1.121 17
11 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’37.237 1.297 16
12 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’37.274 1.334 19
13 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’37.288 1.348 16
14 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’37.425 1.485 14
15 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’37.465 1.525 12
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’37.493 1.553 13
17 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’37.628 1.688 14
18 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’37.831 1.891 14
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’38.701 2.761 19
20 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’39.198 3.258 18
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’39.796 3.856 18
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’40.048 4.108 17
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’41.263 5.323 14
24 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’41.499 5.559 18

Chinese Grand Prix combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’37.106 1’36.145 1’35.940 -0.205 49
2 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’38.316 1’35.973 1’36.512 +0.539 63
3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’39.199 1’36.711 1’36.063 -0.648 46
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’39.198 1’36.160 1’37.039 +0.879 54
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’38.116 1’36.617 1’36.389 -0.228 61
6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’38.977 1’36.433 1’36.635 +0.202 55
7 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’40.540 1’38.176 1’36.765 -1.411 64
8 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’38.584 1’37.417 1’36.781 -0.636 54
9 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’38.911 1’36.956 1’36.880 -0.076 57
10 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’36.966 1’37.288 +0.322 47
11 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’50.465 1’37.836 1’37.061 -0.775 58
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’40.328 1’37.191 1’37.237 +0.046 60
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’41.204 1’37.972 1’37.274 -0.698 59
14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’40.056 1’37.316 1’37.465 +0.149 58
15 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’38.783 1’37.425 -1.358 51
16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.768 1’37.930 1’37.493 -0.437 59
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.748 1’37.616 1’37.628 +0.012 63
18 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’40.153 1’38.293 1’37.831 -0.462 59
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’39.346 1’38.701 -0.645 39
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’41.071 1’38.990 1’39.198 +0.208 68
21 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’42.330 1’39.651 1’39.796 +0.145 47
22 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’44.500 1’40.753 1’40.048 -0.705 62
23 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’40.298
24 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’44.227 1’40.343 1’41.499 +1.156 53
25 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’47.204 1’41.125 1’41.263 +0.138 52
26 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’42.521
27 Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1’44.118

2012 Chinese Grand Prix

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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17 comments on Hamilton fastest again in final practice in China

  1. sozavele (@formula-1) said on 14th April 2012, 5:10

    Felipe down there again, I think it is time Ferrari let him go.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th April 2012, 5:20

      To be honest, this year its mostly the car being hopeless. Not easy to find another driver that can haul that into Q3 or the points.

    • mixwell (@mixwell) said on 14th April 2012, 5:47

      Massa is slow, but, can’t really judge it this time. would make much more sense if Alonso was P7 or something but even he is down there in P15, which means the car isn’t working for both of them.
      The real problem lies in the fact that Alonso can score points even from P24 while Massa can either crash/slide/spin or finish in a real bad position. But nobody knows if some other driver can drive this car the way Alonso can. With that view, moving to Ferrari mid-season might turn out to be a big mistake (Look what happened when Fis moved to Ferrari, despite doing great in Force India) and maybe the next year you are going to be labelled as ‘test/reserve’ and replaced by yet another driver, possibly Kubica.

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th April 2012, 5:22

    It surely looks like McLaren are still ahead. Lets hope Mercedes can at least get both cars on the first 2 rows and not fall back too far this time.

    How long ago is it, that Webber outqualified Vettel (or another team mate?) 3 times in a row?

  3. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th April 2012, 5:22

    Ferrari very down on their qualifying chances:

    In a track where traction and speed are the key factor, a car with problems in these two areas is destined to suffer

    http://twitter.com/InsideFerrari/statuses/191018135749541888

  4. sid_prasher (@) said on 14th April 2012, 6:04

    Ferrari just better than the bottom 3? Surely not (I hope pray)!

  5. raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 14th April 2012, 6:21

    No combined best sectors?

  6. Bogz said on 14th April 2012, 12:43

    Go Ham

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