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Chinese GP: Sirotkin excellent 10th in FP3

By Andrew Hooper
April 14 2018

The final practice session for the 2018 Chinese GP would see the Williams Martini team drivers finish in 10th and 17th. For Lance Stroll it was again another difficult session finishing well down the order but for his team-mate Sergey Sirotkin his qualifying simulation run would see him an excellent 10th. A fantastic effort from the Williams rookie. Now it comes down to whether he can reproduce this in qualifying and for Lance he needs to find improvements to move up the times. Sergey has shown that the car has some pace now it is up to both Williams drivers to put it all together in qualifying.

 Williams Martini Chinese GP Saturday Practice

Team Summary:
There was a good chance that rain would fall during the session as drivers came out for their installation laps with a mix of soft and ultrasoft tyres. Raikkonen would go quickest with a slow 1m:37.763. Hulkenberg would lower this with a 1m:36.401 with ten minutes of the session completed. Neither Williams driver had come out yet as Raikkonen improved with a 1m:34.794 followed by Hulkenberg and Sainz. Ferrari team-mate Vettel would go quickest with a 1m:33.689 with Bottas moving into second followed by Raikkonen. For Williams after their first runs they were twelfth and fourteenth with the two drivers splitting their tyre types with Sergey on the ultrasoft and Lance the soft.

The track conditions were difficult with the wind playing a major role at certain corners. Twenty seven minutes remaining in the session with the top three now Vettel, Bottas, and Sainz. But using the ultrasoft tyre Raikkonen would set a 1m:33.469 to be quickest. The Virtual Safety Car would be deployed as a result of Ricciardo's car suffering a engine failure stopping on the side of the track. The Williams cars with just over twenty minutes remaining were in thirteenth and sixteenth. The session would restart with eighteen minutes remaining. Vettel was out on his qualifying simulation and would set a 1m:33.018 to be quickest with Raikkonen second. Bottas and Hamilton were third and fourth but a considerable margin behind the Ferrari's.

Both Williams drivers would come out for an ultrasoft tyre run as the session drew to a close. But they were not alone with quite a few drivers on qualifying simulations. For Williams Lance as down in seventeenth and Sergey was now tenth. A great result from the Williams rookie.

Lance Stroll:
Lance would be first out for Williams Martini coming out on new soft tyres. Lance would set a 1m:39.283 to be down in seventh, but his time was well off the pace. He would improve with a 1m:38.367 but dropped to eighth. A further improvement with a 1m:38.004 but Lance would remain drop to ninth as more drivers set times. Lance would drop to eleventh as he worked on a longer run of the soft tyre. He would drop further down the order now fourteenth as he pitted having completed six laps. Lance would drop to sixteenth in the pit. lance would return this time on the ultrasoft tyre. Lance would complete his flying lap and would set a 1m:36.092 to be twelfth dropping to thirteenth.

Lance would also pit after his ultrasoft tyre run. In his pit Lance would drop to fourteenth. As the session drew to a close Lance was back out on a set of new ultrasoft tyres. Lance would set a 1m:35.375 to be fifteenth. he would drop to seventeenth but was 0.634 behind his team-mate. Lance would pit as the session ended.

Sergey Sirotkin:
With nearly twenty minutes of the session completed Sergey had yet to come out for his first run. But finally he would come out using the ultrasoft tyre. Sergey would set a 1m:36.743 to move into twelfth but he would drop to fourteenth. Sergey was able to improve his time with a 1m:36.386 to now be sixteenth as he pitted briefly. He would pit again and with just over ten minutes remaining was now seventeenth. Sergey would also come back out on new ultrasoft tyres. But Sergey would set a 1m:34.741 to be tenth. This was a massive step forward as the session ended.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m33.018s - 14
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m33.469s 0.451s 21
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m33.761s 0.743s 16
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m33.969s 0.951s 14
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.057s 1.039s 14
6 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m34.329s 1.311s 25
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m34.445s 1.427s 14
8 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m34.456s 1.438s 16
9 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m34.582s 1.564s 20
10 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m34.741s 1.723s 13
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m34.841s 1.823s 16
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m34.851s 1.833s 13
13 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m34.977s 1.959s 16
14 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m34.991s 1.973s 20
15 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m35.061s 2.043s 4
16 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m35.079s 2.061s 16
17 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m35.375s 2.357s 16
18 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m35.497s 2.479s 14
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m35.679s 2.661s 13
20 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m35.756s 2.738s 6

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Chinese GP: Sirotkin excellent 10th in FP3
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14/04/2018 04:25
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