Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Lewis Hamilton has kept up his run of strong form by finishing the final Free Practice session on top at the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix.
On the medium compound tyre, the current world champion set a time of 1:37.615 – putting him 0.226 seconds ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg who recovered from a fifth place in FP2 to maintain the Mercedes lock out.
Much like the rest of the weekend, Ferrari were keeping Mercedes honest with Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen both less than a second away from Hamilton in third and fourth.
Also keeping the theme of teams locking out rows of the grid was Red Bull, with Daniel Ricciardo securing fifth. However, issues continued to plague the Australian and eight laps was all he completed in the hour long session. That at least was better than team mate Daniil Kvyat who – in the dying minutes of FP3 – radioed into the pits saying his car had ‘lost power’ a limp back to the pits ensued with the Russian having to settle for sixth.
Seventh place went to Carlos Sainz Jr. showing the inherent speed of the Toro Rosso can put it ahead of Valtteri Bottas’ Williams in eighth with his Toro Rosso team mate Max Verstappen finishing ninth.
Rounding out the top ten was the Lotus of Romain Grosjean, 1.790 seconds behind the first place man.
Of note, Fernando Alonso’s session in the McLaren-Honda ended before it had really began with his engine giving up the ghost on his out-lap meaning the entirety of his running was cancelled.
The Chinese Grand Prix gets underway at 7.00am tomorrow, Sunday April 12.