Chinese Grand Prix 2024: Lance Stroll fastest

The former champions ran only hard tyres in the session, during which Hamilton complained that the car was “really bad”.

China returns to the calendar for the first time since 2019, following an interruption for the coronavirus pandemic and the country’s handling of subsequent Covid restrictions.

Shanghai also hosts the first ‘sprint’ weekend of the new season, with a new format introduced this year.

Qualifying for the sprint is at 08:30 UK time on Friday, with the sprint race the first track action on Saturday followed by grand prix qualifying later the same day.

The session was interrupted for a few minutes early on when the grass caught fire on the inside of Turn Seven.

Otherwise, there was little incident of note as the teams engaged in varying programmes trying to set their cars up for the weekend.

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