Bottas fastest in Chinese GP final practice
13 Apr 2019, 09:36 ( 12 days ago)
Mercedes' Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas set the pace in the third free practice session for Sunday's Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, but Saturday morning was marred by a heavy crash for Toro Rosso driver Alexander Albon.
Coming out of the final corner onto the start-finish straight, the Thai driver lost control of his car as he put two wheels on the artificial grass, spinning and plowing into the barriers. The 23-year-old, who is competing at Shanghai for the first time this weekend, was able to walk away from the wreck, but his car will need a big rebuild if he is to start tomorrow's race.
Albon's crash occurred with just seven minutes of the one-hour practice to go, and with race stewards electing not to restart the session, several drivers missed out on their final qualifying simulation runs.
Behind Bottas came the two Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc respectively, with the second Mercedes of world champion Lewis Hamilton in fourth place. So far, the weekend has been finely balanced between Ferrari and Mercedes, with the Italian team seemingly faster on the long straights, while the three-pointed star appears to have the edge in the corners.
The qualifying session for Sunday's race begins today at 2pm local time.