The F1 juggernaut has landed in China for the third Grand Prix of the season at the Shanghai International Circuit and there was no surprise as to who the quickest in the two practice sessions was. It was Mercedes indeed! It was Lewis Hamilton leading the way in both sessions.
But the Ferrari kept them honest in both sessions grabbing the second fastest time in FP2 with Williams and Red Bull following close behind. The Mercedes are favourites to lock out the front row in qualifying, as their one lap pace seems to be way ahead of the chasing pack.
Where to watch live
The third free practice session begins at 5am GMT, while the qualifying session starts at 8am GMT. Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports F1 HD will provide live coverage of both events in the UK.
Real-time internet updates are available on the Live Timing section of the sport's official website.
Following the surprise by Ferrari in Malaysia in the previous race, service resumed as usual with the Mercedes leading the way in FP1 and FP2, with Lewis Hamilton posting the best time in both the sessions.
Nico Rosberg was second in the morning session, but a mistake on his hot lap in the second session cost him valuable time and he could only manage to finish fifth.
It was the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen that was the closest to Hamilton, with the Finn's best time on the option tyres just half a second slower than the Mercedes driver. However, despite the dominance of the Brackley based team in practice, the Ferrari looked competitive during the race simulation runs, with Kimi consistently going faster than Rosberg on the medium tyres.
The Red Bull of Daniel Ricciado was third after running a low downforce rear wing to make up for their lack of straight line speed, but we have to wait and see how that will fare during the race, with high degradation expected on the softer compound tyres.
The McLaren have made yet another step forward after Jenson Button managed to get into the top ten for the first time this season. However, reliability will be a big factor for the Woking based team.
Top 10 results of the second practice session from Shanghai International Circuit, China:
- LC Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 1'37.219
- KM Räikkönen (FIN) Ferrari 1'37.662
- D Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull 1'38.311
- S Vettel (GER) Ferrari 1'38.339
- N Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 1'38.339
- D Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull 1'38.737
- V Bottas (FIN) Williams 1'38.850
- F Nasr (BRA) Sauber 1'39.032
- R Grosjean (FRA) Lotus 1'39.142
- J Button (GBR) McLaren-Honda 1'39.275