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Bottas heads Chinese GP second practice

12 Apr 2019, 12:02 ( 3 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Mercedes Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas. File Photo Xinhua.

Mercedes Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas set the pace in the second free practice session for the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix despite an early spin.

   Both Bottas and teammate Lewis Hamilton spun at the notoriously difficult first complex of corners in the opening minutes of the session, with both drivers seemingly struggling to generate enough heat into their tyres.

   In a weekend that increasingly appears to be a battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, Bottas' best time was just 0.027s ahead of the Scuderia's Sebastian Vettel, who had led the pack in the morning session.

   Hamilton wound up fourth after he was slowed on his flying lap by debris from Romain Grosjean's Haas, whose front wing had become slightly damaged as he braked on a bumpy section of track.

   Vettel's Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc finished seventh after only running in the first half of the session, as his team then called him into the pits for system checks.

   Red Bull's Max Verstappen set the third fastest time despite running slightly wide on his fastest lap, but voiced his concern over team radio about the state of his car's gearshifts towards the end of the session, saying that something felt broken.

   Elsewhere, it was a promising session for McLaren, with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris sixth and eighth respectively, and Renault also got both their drivers into the top ten, as Nico Hulkenberg wound up fifth and last year's Chinese Grand Prix winner Daniel Ricciardo finished in ninth spot.

   Saturday morning sees the final practice session before the drivers head out for qualifying in the afternoon, which will set the grid positions for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.