Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button finished third practice in dominant form ahead of qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.
Hamilton finished the session a tenth ahead of his team-mate with the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher occupying third and fourth ahead of Mark Webber’s Red Bull. The second Red Bull of World Champion Sebastian Vettel was down in ninth, with the Williams of Pastor Maldonado and the Saubers of Sergio Pérez and Kamui Kobayashi between him and his team-mate.
The Lotus of Kimi Räikkönen rounded out the top ten. While the front runners were lapping in around 96seconds, the HRTs at the back were doing times around 101seconds. Should that be replicated in qualifying they will be comfortably inside the 107 per cent required to avoid exclusion from the race.
With the temperature in Shanghai much higher than yesterday the teams faced somewhat different conditions than they did in FP1 and FP2 on Friday but the issues with low grip on the bumpy surface continued with several drivers flat-spotting their tyres after slides. Despite his position at the top of the time sheet in the morning session, Hamilton is not in the running for a third consecutive pole position. Having changed his gearbox he faces a five place grid penalty.