Free Practice 3
The third and final practice session for the Chinese GP was held in warmer conditions than the first two had been. Teams took full advantage of this by sending their drivers out early to complete their installation laps. Heikki Kovalainen reported that the front grip on his car was much better feeling than it had been on Friday, while Michael Schumacher struggled with the handling of his Mercedes in Turns 9 and 10. Lewis Hamilton started the session with his new gearbox meaning that he will definitely be taking a five place grid drop after qualifying. The order of the day was runs on the harder compound tyre (mediums) before completing qualifying simulations on the soft tyres towards the end of the session. It was once again Lewis Hamilton, who topped the first free practice session, quickest ahead of team-mate Jenson Button and the two Mercedes drivers who also looked strong. The field spread was five and a half seconds but down to Felipe Massa in 18th was covered by under two seconds, suggesting that qualifying will be close. Apart from the odd lock-up, although not as many as had happened on Friday, nothing out of the ordinary happened.