Chinese GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report

Red Rain

Daniel Ricciardo, Chinese GP 2014

Daniel Ricciardo, Chinese GP 2014 

 © Active Pictures

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest time in the rainy Free Practice 3 session for the Chinese Grand Prix. Felipe Massa (Williams) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus) rounded out the top three.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 57 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Centigrade.)

It had been raining earlier in the morning, so the track was wet as Pastor Maldonado, with intermediate rain tires fitted to his Lotus, headed out. Other drivers chose Pirelli's extreme wet tire for their installation laps. But the "inters" would prove to be the tires best suited to the track conditions.

There was trouble in the Toro Rosso garage as the engineers spotted problems with the engine mapping on the cars of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne. Both cars needed repairs before the drivers could go out again.

13 minutes into the session, Maldonado set the first lap time of the session: 1:56.676. His teammate Romain Grosjean topped that with a 1:54.514.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel was complaining that the clutch was slipping plus there was a lack of acceleration on his Red Bull Renault.

The Lotus duo were the only ones to set lap times in the first 19 minutes, and then Max Chilton clocked a 1:59.056 in his Marussia.

20 minutes into the session, more drivers were in action now, including Vettel who set a time of 1:56.233, which put him fourth behind Grosjean, Maldonado and McLaren's Jenson Button.

23 minutes into the session, only eight drivers had set lap times. The rest were content to wait in the garages and not risk damaging their cars on the slippery track.

26 minutes into the session, Valtteri Bottas spun his Williams and continued at Turn 10.

28 minutes into the session, Daniel Ricciardo posted the best time – 1:53.958 – in his Red Bull.

Midway through FP3 the top six were: Ricciardo, Felipe Massa (Williams), Grosjean, Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), Maldonado and Kvyat.

With 24 minutes remaining in the session, Sergio Perez spun his Force India at Turn 14.

With 21 minutes remaining in the session, 17 drivers had set times. The Ferrari and Mercedes drivers and McLaren's Kevin Magnussen

With19 minutes remaining in the session, Lotus radioed Maldonado to immediately stop his car out on the track. He parked it off the track at Turn 10.

With16 minutes remaining in the session, Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham) was the only driver circulating on the track.

With 15 minutes remaining in the session, Red Bull told Ricciardo that they would not be running his car any more in the session.

With 9 minutes remaining in the session, Magnussen started his first flying lap. But then he pitted and the mechanics pushed the car back into the garage.

With 5 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel started a flying lap, but he, too, pitted.

The top six at the end of FP3 were: Ricciardo, Massa, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Maldonado, Kvyat, Bottas, Button and Perez.

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