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News18 » Formula One
1-min read

Lewis Hamilton tops all three practice sessions at Chinese GP

Hamilton set a time of 1 minute, 37.615 seconds in nearly ideal racing conditions, with clear skies and temperatures at 19 degrees Celsius.

Updated:April 11, 2015, 10:25 AM IST
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Lewis Hamilton tops all three practice sessions at Chinese GP
Hamilton set a time of 1 minute, 37.615 seconds in nearly ideal racing conditions, with clear skies and temperatures at 19 degrees Celsius.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton showed he is the driver to beat in qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday after clocking the fastest time in practice for the third straight session.

Hamilton set a time of 1 minute, 37.615 seconds in nearly ideal racing conditions, with clear skies and temperatures at 19 degrees Celsius (66 Fahrenheit).

The British driver was just 0.2 seconds faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg in second, with the Ferrari cars of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen not far behind in third and fourth. Vettel was 0.7 seconds off the pace, while Raikkonen was 0.9 seconds back.

The Ferraris have managed to close the gap with the silver cars somewhat in China, though neither Vettel nor Raikkonen has managed to top Hamilton's times in practice.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo continued to be troubled by brake issues, pitting after completing just four laps with overheating problems. He came back later, however, to set the fifth-fastest time of the session.

Red Bull had swapped out its brake system before heading to China for the one it used last year due to overheating issues two weeks ago at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Ricciardo was still having brake problems in practice sessions this week, though, suggesting the problem hasn't been entirely solved.

Ricciardo's team-mate, Daniil Kyvat, was sixth-fastest, followed by Carlos Sainz Jr. of Toro Rosso, Valterri Bottas of Williams, Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean of Lotus.

It was another tough practice session for McLaren, with Fernando Alonso forced to stop shortly after leaving the pits with smoke coming from the back of his car. The Spanish driver helped marshals push the car off the track and then walked back to his garage where he would remain the rest of the session.

His team-mate, Jenson Button, was directed to return to the garage shortly after Alonso stopped, with his team telling him over the radio, "The issue is not fixed, so be careful." He returned later to set the 15th-fastest time of the session.

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