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F1 2015: FP3 Report – Hamilton Quickest In China

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg set the first and second fastest time for Mercedes in the final free practice session for the Chinese grand prix.

The Mercedes drivers were separated by roughly two tenths of a second while the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were comfortably the second quickest pairing in the quali sim runs. Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat ended the session fifth and sixth quickest respectively.

McLaren’s difficult start to the season continued as Fernando Alonso grinded to a halt early on in the hour long session with a suspected engine problem. However, teammate Jenson Button seemed to fair quite a bit better and finished the session only three tenths off 1oth place. Team boss Paddy Lowe said that they are hoping to advance to the second part of qualifying using only the prime (medium) compound tyre.Valtteri Bottas was the quickest of the Williams drivers but was only 8th on the timing sheets; teammate Felipe Massa was 11th.

The uncommonly bright blue sky over the Shanghai International circuit has been one the biggest surprises of the weekend. This region, some forty minutes from downtown Shanghai, is usually bathed in overcast and cool conditions. However, temperatures are expected to rise into Sunday’s race and Pirelli predicts that it could mean that some teams will have to opt for a three-stop strategy.

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About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

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