Sebastian Vettel did the best he could to forget a troubled Bahrain GP weekend behind him by topping the first practice session at the Shanghai International Circuit.
The Ferrari driver topped Lewis Hamilton by two tenths as Charles Leclerc in the second Ferrari followed closely in third. Bottas ended up 5th fastest, allowing only Verstappen to mix in between the Ferrari-Mercedes pack of cars.
As Verstappen was the fastest Red Bull, his team mate Pierre Gasly ended up in 7th, even though that is more than a full second slower than his Dutch team mate.
Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed a positive start to his race weekend. He went 6th fastest with his Renault R.S.19, thereby outpacing team mate Hulkenberg by 3 tenths. These tenths matter quite a lot in such a tight midfield pack though, as that meant Hulkenberg's best was just 12th fastest.
At the back of the pack, Williams were again slowest, and ahead only of Giovinazzi as the Italian endured a power loss issue on his Alfa Romeo C38 on his installation lap. Once back into the garage, it was clear the car had to be taken apart to resolve the matter, forcing Giovinazzi to sit out the rest of the session.
|2||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:34.118||+0.207s||21|
|4||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:34.334||+0.423s||20|
|5||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:34.653||+0.742s||23|
|7||10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:35.428||+1.517s||23|
|8||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:35.447||+1.536s||24|
|9||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:35.466||+1.555s||25|
|10||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:35.507||+1.596s||24|
|11||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:35.517||+1.606s||25|
|13||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:35.631||+1.720s||24|
|14||23||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:35.695||+1.784s||26|
|15||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:35.729||+1.818s||23|
|16||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:35.756||+1.845s||24|
|17||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:35.820||+1.909s||24|
|18||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:36.847||+2.936s||27|
|19||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:37.619||+3.708s||29|
|20||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||-||-||2|