FP3: Bottas still ahead as Albon crashes heavily

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F1 Grand Prix, GP China, Shanghai International Ciruitcn

Just like on Friday, Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas proved fastest in the last free practice session before qualifiying for the Chinese Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel was once again second fastest.

Bottas topped the session nearly throughout, consistently having around 4 tenths of a second in hand over his competitors, and even more so compared to his own team mate.

With just 5 minutes of Free Practice 3 remaining, Alex Albon crashed his Toro Rosso into the pit wall, damaging the car this much that it was decided to immediately terminate the session, hence fixing the positions at the time. Albon had gone slightly wide on the exit of the final corner, lost rear grip and failed to correct the car, ending up sideways into the barriers.

While Albon escaped unscathed, the end result for his team was a badly damaged Toro Rosso STR14. Damage was enough for the team to rapidly announce that Albon would be unable to participate on qualifying as a result of this.

For Albon, it's a continuation of a difficult season start, and at a bad moment, given he and his team mate were in the top 10 of the Free Practice 3 time table.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
177Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:32.830-11
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1:33.222+0.392s12
316Charles LeclercFerrari1:33.248+0.418s10
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:33.689+0.859s10
527Nico HulkenbergRenault1:33.974+1.144s11
67Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:34.246+1.416s14
733Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda1:34.447+1.617s5
855Carlos SainzMcLaren Renault1:34.510+1.680s9
923Alexander AlbonScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:34.600+1.770s11
1026Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:34.783+1.953s10
114Lando NorrisMcLaren Renault1:34.938+2.108s11
1211Sergio PerezRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:35.078+2.248s9
133Daniel RicciardoRenault1:35.142+2.312s11
1418Lance StrollRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:35.223+2.393s10
1510Pierre GaslyRed Bull Racing Honda1:35.326+2.496s8
1699Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:35.726+2.896s12
178Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:35.771+2.941s14
1820Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:35.998+3.168s15
1963George RussellWilliams Mercedes1:36.124+3.294s10
2088Robert KubicaWilliams Mercedes1:36.176+3.346s11