Lewis Hamilton enjoyed a well functioning Mercedes AMG F1 W09 car in the morning session at China as he topped the timesheet with team mate Valtteri Bottas backing him up in third. Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen split the duo, even though he used the ultrasoft tyres for that, a compound which neither Mercedes driver used.
Both Red Bull drivers followed up in 4th and 5th, ahead of Championship leader Sebastian Vettel. It hence marks another start of a race weekend where Raikkonen is ahead of Vettel, as has become the norm this season so far.
The top 10 is completed by the Haas and Renault drivers, with Magnussen the fastest of them, half a second clear of Sainz who is eigth fastest.
The start of the session was unusually busy, possibly due to rain being forecast. Ahead of the expected proper rain, there was some drizzle at various moments during the practice session, but not enough to upset anyone. The wind on the other hand, as is commonly the case at the Shanghai International Circuit did create some trouble, most notably in Turn 6 and Turn 10.
|4||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer||1:34.537||+0.538s||22|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer||1:34.668||+0.669s||22|
|7||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:35.178||+1.179s||21|
|9||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:35.718||+1.719s||21|
|11||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:36.037||+2.038s||21|
|12||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:36.044||+2.045s||29|
|13||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:36.051||+2.052s||28|
|14||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:36.351||+2.352s||32|
|15||35||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:36.691||+2.692s||31|
|16||28||Brendon Hartley||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:36.715||+2.716s||23|
|17||16||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:36.723||+2.724s||23|
|18||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:36.756||+2.757s||25|
|19||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:36.909||+2.910s||21|
|20||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:37.277||+3.278s||28|