Chinese Grand Prix: FP3 as it happened

Follow all the action from FP3 at the Chinese Grand Prix live right here.

13:06 It will certainly be worth keeping a close eye on qualifying later on. Given the likelihood of poor weather tomorrow, starting position might just be critical. We’ll be back at 15:00 to cover qualifying for you. See you there!

13:04 A final reminder of the state of play as the free practice sessions come to and end…

13:00 Checkered Flag! That’s the end of FP3 then, and it is Vettel and Raikkonen that lead the way for Ferrari, with Mercedes just behind them. Will it all be that simple come qualifying? We’ll have to wait and see.

12:55 Into the final few minutes now, and the Mercedes pair have another go. Bottas manages a 1.33.7, which puts him 3 tenths down on Vettel. Hamilton, meanwhile, is a further two tenths back, but replays indicate that the Briton missed the apex at the hairpin, which cost him time.

12:51 A much better effort from Raikkonen on sees him leap up into P2, just half a tenth down on Vettel.

12:48 A certain red German is definitely having it all his own way at the moment…

12:45 Bottas goes P2, a second off Vettel, but only for a moment, as Hamilton manages a lap 0.2 seconds quicker than his teammate. How much do Mercedes have in reserve?

12:43 The two Silver Arrows have just emerged from the pits, both sporting new supersofts…

12:41 Felipe Massa pops up in P3 with a time identical to Ricciardo’s. A solid effort by Williams so far, with the other car of Lance Stroll in P7, half a second behind.
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12:38 Daniel Ricciardo has a go on a set of new supersofts, but while he improves, his time is 1.7 seconds off the pace set by Vettel.

12:36 It’s been a bit of a scrappy morning for Bottas; the Mercedes man lost his T-wing right at the start of the session and has just locked up into Turn 1.

12:33 And Vettel manages a 1.33.386, a second up on Raikkonen.
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12:30 Kimi Raikkonen is on circuit, seemingly giving it everything on a set of supersofts. The Ferrari man is fastest in all three sectors and posts a 1.34.519, over a second up on Ricciardo’s earlier time. Teammate Vettel is also gearing himself up to have a go…

12:28 Call me crazy, but that isn’t the fastest way to get around the lap…Some images of Palmer and Ericsson’s spins from earlier.

12:23 The teams seem to focusing on long runs and race preparation, which has led to rather few very quick times. There’s a slight lull in the action now as most of the drivers pit after stints of roughly 10 or 12 laps.

12:19 Replays show Jolyon Palmer spinning his Renault down at the chicane, but he manages to continue, before pitting

12:15 That’s a bit more like it! Daniel Ricciardo sets three purple sectors on a set of supersoft tyres and produces a 1.35.647. That’s almost two seconds clear of the pack.

12:12 Here’s the early order for you, yet to see the bigger teams really go for it…

12:10 Bit of a moment for Valtteri Bottas as the T-wing on his Mercedes flexes violently before simply snapping off. The Finn has simply carried on going though.

12:06 Lance Stroll sets the initial pace on a set of soft tyres with a 1.38.586, but that is swiftly bettered by Daniel Ricciardo, who goes a second faster. Times should tumble quickly this morning.

12:03 Good to see that no issues are expected this morning…

12:00 Green light, it’s time to get to work! Several drivers queued up at the end of the pit lane in advance, and have now peeled out on to the circuit.

11:58 A final reminder for you on the schedule for this weekend: the teams met with FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting yesterday to discuss the possibility of changing the format of the weekend in order to avoid any bad weather that might potentially arise tomorrow. Ultimately, however, it was decided to leave the schedule unchanged.

11:53 A reminder for you that it was Red Bull’s Max Verstappen that set the pace in FP1, but given that all the drivers managed only a handful of laps, precious little can be read into that.
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11:49 Weather news for you: it’s cloudy, with a hint of sunshine peeking through and an air temperature of 22 degrees Celsius. Crucially, it isn’t raining at the moment, so the teams should get straight into their work.

11:45 There was plenty of frustration up and down the grid as a result of yesterday’s (lack of) events, but one driver who will feel more frustrated than most is Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi. The Italian is doing duty for the Swiss team again this weekend as regular driver Pascal Wehrlein continues to struggle for fitness after an injured sustained at the Race of Champions last December.
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11:40 The limited running from yesterday makes the upcoming hour crucial for the teams and drivers in terms of their preparation for qualifying and the race, so hopefully FP3 will see a whole lot of action!

11:35 If you didn’t manage to catch yesterday’s action, you didn’t miss much. The drivers only managed a total of 124 laps between them in FP1, and there was no running at all in FP2. The reason for this was that the Shanghai sky was shrouded in smog, which would have made it impossible for the circuit’s medical helicopter to land while transporting an injured driver.

11:30 Hello and welcome to FOX Sports Asia’s coverage of Free Practice 3 for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix. We’re just 30 minutes away from the start of the final practice session for this weekend’s race.

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