Shanghai Practice 3: Ricciardo puts Red Bull on top in the wet

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo put Red Bull on top of the timesheets for the first time this season with the fastest time in final practice for the Chinese Grand Prix in a damp session that limited running with neither Mercedes drivers completing a timed lap.

Ricciardo’s one minute 53.958 on intermediate tyres at the Shanghai International Circuit was half a second quicker than Felipe Massa’s Williams with Lotus’s Romain Grosjean third.

Mercedes have won the opening three races of the season in dominant fashion and Saturday’s final practice session is only the third time this season a silver car has not topped the timesheets.

With just two hours between the end of final practice and the start of qualifying, both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were content to limit their running to exploratory laps in the tricky conditions.

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg set the fourth quickest time ahead of Ferrari‘s Kimi Raikkonen, who emerged late in the session to go fifth.

His team-mate Fernando Alonso, who had topped Friday’s opening session, did not set a time.

Pastor Maldonado was sixth in the Lotus despite being asked by the team to bring his car to a halt with 20 minutes still to run.

Daniil Kvyat was seventh ahead of Valtteri Bottas, with Jenson Button, the sole McLaren to set a time, ninth.

Sergio Perez was 10th in the Force India with world champion Sebastian Vettel 11th after several issues with his car. (Reuters)

Chinese Grand Prix, Free Practice 3 – Saturday, 19 April 2014

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:53.958 5
2 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:54.492 0.534 5
3 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:54.514 0.556 4
4 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:55.032 1.074 6
5 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:55.062 1.104 4
6 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1:55.228 1.270 12
7 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault 1:55.235 1.277 7
8 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:55.381 1.423 5
9 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:55.673 1.715 4
10 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:56.019 2.061 6
11 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:56.233 2.275 8
12 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault 1:56.380 2.422 9
13 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:56.760 2.802 8
14 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:56.841 2.883 13
15 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:57.468 3.510 9
16 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:57.812 3.854 12
17 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:57.976 4.018 14
18 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:59.507 5.549 6
19 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes No time 4
20 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes No time 3
21 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari No time 1
22 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes No time 3