Daniel Ricciardo has recorded the fastest time in a rain-hit final practice session today at the Chinese Grand Prix. The Australian clocked a 1:53.958 on the greasy track surface to emerge quickest of the pack by over half a second, with Felipe Massa’s Williams giving chase.

The Lotus’ of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado both surprisingly finished inside the top-six, although yesterday’s pacesetters, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, were among four more-fancied runners who didn’t bother to set a time.

The wet conditions underscored the folly of the current regulations which limit each car to just four sets of Intermediate and three Wet tyre sets for the entire weekend. With barely any running, the one-hour session was akin to watching paint dry as almost everyone kept their lap tally to single figures, saving rubber for what is expected to be a wet qualifying session later this afternoon.

Ricciardo’s five tours of the Shanghai circuit yielded the quickest time, ensuring he was comfortably quickest from Massa and Grosjean, who put down the early benchmark time.

The evergreen Nico Hülkenberg was fourth-quickest in his Force India, narrowly out-pacing the Ferrari of Kimi Räikkönen and the second Lotus of Pastor Maldonado, who put in a reasonably impressive lap time before his Lotus developed another technical drama that forced him to stop with 20 minutes of the session left.

Daniil Kvyat was seventh-quickest with seven laps to his credit, outpacing Valtteri Bottas, who spun his Williams during the session. Former teammates Jenson Button and Sergio Pérez rounded out the top ten in their respective McLaren and Force India racers.

Sebastian Vettel was very downbeat during the session, with his Red Bull RB10 suffering a front brake problem, followed later on by an ERS issue which will keep his mechanics busy over the lunch break while they try and solve the issues before qualifying, which gets underway at 2:00pm local time (GMT +8).


2014 Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 Results:

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:53.958 5
2. Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:54.492 + 0.534 5
3. Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:54.514 + 0.556 4
4. Nico Hülkenberg Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:55.032 + 1.074 6
5. Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:55.062 + 1.104 4
6. Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:55.228 + 1.270 12
7. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:55.235 + 1.277 7
8. Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:55.381 + 1.423 5
9. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:55.673 + 1.715 4
10. Sergio Pérez Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:56.019 + 2.061 6
11. Sebastian Vettel Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:56.233 + 2.275 8
12. Jean-Éric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:56.380 + 2.422 9
13. Adrian Sutil Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:56.760 + 2.802 8
14. Max Chilton Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:56.841 + 2.883 13
15. Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:57.468 + 3.510 9
16. Kamui Kobayashi jp Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:57.812 + 3.854 12
17. Jules Bianchi Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:57.976 + 4.018 14
18. Marcus Ericsson Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:59.507 + 5.549 6
19. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 no time 4
20. Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 no time 3
21. Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari F14T no time 1
22. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 no time 3

Image via XPB Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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