SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 14: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF71H on track during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 14, 2018 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Lots of drama unfolded in the third free practice session (FP3) at the Shanghai International Circuit, as Red Bull had a disappointing outing.

Red Bull Racing Faces Trouble In FP3

As the session first went green, there was a hesitation to put Ricciardo on the tracks as they were fixing something in the car. When asked about what happened to Ricciardo, the pit wall said that they had a “gearbox scare”. We didn’t hear much from the team until about halfway into the session, when Daniel Ricciardo pulled off the track, ahead of the final turn. A Virtual Safety Car was deployed as Daniel’s car was towed off track. The Australian suffered yet another engine-related problem, an Energy Store failure.

Max Verstappen also saw issues with his car, complaining that he was “slowing down” on the straights of the track. After Ricciardo’s incident, Verstappen was flagged by his team to pit as well.

Ferrari On Top

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton had a close call at turn 10, as he went for a spin. Luckily for Hamilton, that was all that came out of the situation. The track conditions were fragile, as Shanghai had seen rain earlier in the weekend. It was noted by the Sky Sports commentary team that the Astroturf which surrounds parts of the track absorbed a lot of the water, making it slippery.

Aside from the drama, Ferrari had another spectacular showing. Vettel and Raikkonen came first and second. Valtteri Bottas was third for the session. Rounding off the top five were Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Pos # Driver Team Lap Time Gap Laps
1 5 Vettel Ferrari 1:33.018 14
2 7 Raikkonen Ferrari 1:33.469 +0.451 21
3 77 Bottas Mercedes 1:33.761 +0.743 16
4 33 Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:33.969 +0.951 14
5 44 Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.057 +1.039 14
6 20 Magnussen Haas 1:34.329 +1.311 25
7 11 Perez Force India 1:34.445 +1.427 14
8 31 Ocon Force India 1:34.456 +1.438 16
9 55 Sainz Renault 1:34.582 +1.564 20
10 35 Sirotkin Williams 1:34.741 +1.723 13
11 27 Hulkenberg Renault 1:34.841 +1.823 16
12 14 Alonso McLaren 1:34.851 +1.833 13
13 2 Vandoorne McLaren 1:34.977 +1.959 16
14 28 Hartley Toro Rosso 1:34.991 +1.973 20
15 3 Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:35.061 +2.043 4
16 10 Gasly Toro Rosso 1:35.079 +2.061 16
17 18 Stroll Williams 1:35.375 +2.357 16
18 16 Leclerc Sauber 1:35.497 +2.479 14
19 9 Ericsson Sauber 1:35.679 +2.661 13
20 8 Grosjean Haas 1:35.756 +2.738 6

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

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