14/04/12 - 04:00
Chinese Grand Prix
Shanghai International Circuit • Free Practice 3

Free Practice 3

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We'll be back for what promises to be an interesting qualifying session in two hours. Make sure you join us again then.


So, Hamilton tops the session, ahead of Button, Rosberg, Schumacher, Webber, Maldonado, Perez, Kobayashi, Vettel and Raikkonen rounding off the top 10.


Di Resta has a moment and he flies across the grass before continuing.


Vettel improves on his time, but it's not enough to improve on his ninth place.


The chequered flag is out!


Vettel gets held up and has to abort his effort but he will get one last chance to put down a decent lap.


Alonso might just squeeze in a timed lap after a long time spent in the garages.


Just Vergne in the pits as this session draws to a close.


Hamilton locks up slightly near the end of his flying lap but it doesn't hamper him too much as he goes top of the time sheets with a 1:35.940.


Mercedes on Twitter: "Another set of options for Michael as he goes out with just under ten minutes of the session remaining"


Button betters his own leading time to 1:.36.063. Hamilton will now try to beat that.


Why is McLaren's race radio so much clearer than any other team's?


Button looks quick through the middle sector on his softs. And the McLaren man goes top with a 1.36.262.


Button hits the track on soft tyres and it's time for a quick recap - Rosberg leads, ahead of Schumacher, Webber, Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Maldonado, Kobayashi, Button and Vergne.


Hamilton heads back into the pit lane after putting his harder tyres to the test.


There's a haze over the track now and the sun has gone in for the time being. Still, better than yesterday's cold and wet conditions.


Schumacher looks quick in the first sector and he goes top - but only for a matter of seconds as his Mercedes team-mate Rosberg betters him with a 1:36.389.


Lotus on Twitter: "Both cars head out, Kimi on new mediums, @RGrosjean on scrubs"


Rosberg, Schumacher and Ricciardo follow suit on the softs.


Vergne becomes the first to try out a set of soft tyres and he goes ninth.


Championship leader Fernando Alonso improves to eighth as Vettel heads back out onto track.


Championship leader Fernando Alonso improves to eighth as Vettel heads back out onto track.


Vettel's not having it all his own way today - he's got a problem with the front right corner of his car rising up more than is should do. He's in the garages as Red Bull mechanics work away.


Alonso completes a clean sweep of times with a 1:37.724 to go 10th as we reach the halfway stage of this session.


Rosberg, currently in second, runs wide. Webber still fastest today. Raikkonen is in third ahead of Hamilton with Schumacher in fifth.


Hamilton goes up to fourth with a 1.37.338 on a medium compound tyre.


Webber looks quick again - and he goes top of the timesheets with a 1:36.879.


Vettel posts a 1:38.512 but returns to the garage soon afterwards.


That effort by Webber puts him in second behind Raikkonen.


De la Rosa has a moment and slides off, as Petrov also gets acquainted with the wide run-off.


Here goes Mark Webber as Maldonado slips into fourth with a 1:37.686.


Hamilton jumps into his car and appears ready to build on that installation lap.


Raikkonen goes top with a 1:37.276. De la Rosa has also set a time but lies in fifth.


Grosjean goes top briefly before Perez trumps him with a 1:37.853.


Karthikeyan posts the first timed lap of the day - a 1:43.624 to kick things off.


HRT's Pedro de la Rosa: "The track feels OK and looks OK - it feels really good."


Caterham on Twitter: "Heikki: "track conditions fine, better than yesterday. Front grip levels have improved as well so all good.""


The silence is broken by Karthikeyan, who heads out onto the track, closely followed by Grosjean and Petrov.


After those installation laps, there is now plenty of data-downloading going on in the garages.


And after that brief flurry of early activity, the track has now gone quiet again.


Plenty of action out there early on today, Kovalainen, Karthikeyan and Vergne having been first out.


And McLaren have confirmed that Hamilton has changed his gearbox for this session, meaning he will drop five places from where he qualifies today.


Before that, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton laid down a marker in first practice, banging in the quickest lap of the session after spending much of the morning in the garage.


Here we go then! Saturday practice is under way! This session will be an hour long.


The sun is out in Shanghai with the air temperature at 18 degrees, 22 degrees on the track.


Hello and welcome to out live coverage of the day's action from Shanghai, kicking off with the third and final practice session ahead of Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.