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McLaren head final F1 practice in Shanghai

April 14, 2012

TV Notes

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button claimed a McLaren 1-2 in the final practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

With the field concentrating on qualifying stints as the session aged, the silver cars took advantage of some the grip offered to them in the middle sector to edge a four-tenths gap over the Mercedes pairing Nico Rosberg (3rd) and Michael Schumacher (4th)

Red Bull decided to drop their latest rear wing development for Saturday. It did not appear to hurt Mark Webber, who claimed 5th, although a less happy Sebastian Vettel could manage only 9th, some three-tenths off his teammate’s pace.

Pastor Maldonado once again showed the Williams FW34 has some significant single-lap pace, with the 6th best placing, ahead of the Sauber duo led by Sergio Perez (7th). Lotus returnee Kimi Raikkonen closed out the top ten.

A mere 1.4 seconds covered 3rd to 18th, although it is unlikely Ferrari will be pleased that it is Felipe Massa who claims the last spot in the midfield pack. As per usual, the bottom six consisted of the three “new-ish” teams, all of whom still appear some way off the pack; however HRT will be happy to note that they sit well inside the 107% rule.

2012 Chinese Grand Prix (Rd 3, Free Practice 3)
Pos  Driver                Team                   Time               Laps 
 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1m35.940s            13 
 2.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m36.093s  + 0.123   12 
 3.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m36.389s  + 0.449   16 
 4.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1m36.512s  + 0.572   17 
 5.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1m36.635s  + 0.695   16 
 6.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1m36.765s  + 0.825   17 
 7.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1m36.781s  + 0.841   19 
 8.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1m36.880s  + 0.940   17 
 9.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m37.039s  + 1.099   15 
10.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1m37.061s  + 1.121   17 
11.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   1m37.237s  + 1.297   16 
12.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1m37.274s  + 1.334   19 
13.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1m37.288s  + 1.348   16 
14.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault       1m37.425s  + 1.485   14 
15.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m37.465s  + 1.525   12 
16.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m37.493s  + 1.553   13
17.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m37.628s  + 1.688   14 
18.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1m37.831s  + 1.891   14 
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault       1m38.701s  + 2.761   19 
20.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault       1m39.198s  + 3.258   19 
21.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth      1m39.796s  + 3.856   18 
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth      1m40.048s  + 4.108   17 
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1m41.263s  + 5.323   14 
24.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth           1m41.499s  + 5.559   18
^Notes compiled from team releases and live updates.
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