There was exceptionally limited running during Free Practice Friday in Shanghai, with drivers being unable to prepare properly for the rest of the Chinese Grand Prix Weekend. FP1 endured a 40 minute red flag period due to misty conditions that grounded the medical helicopter, and the session was brought to a premature end after Nico Hülkenberg beached his Renault in the gravel. No driver managed to get more than eight laps of running in, there were only 14 official times on the board, and although Max Verstappen was fastest, he said he would much rather have had more running than the top spot.
Romain Grosjean tweeted his hope that there would be more laps in FP2, but the fog moved in once again and kept the medical helicopter on the ground. Race Control kept an eye on the radar hoping that a break in conditions would allow the session to get started, but that glimpse of blue skies never happened. Instead, FP2 was officially cancelled, meaning there were just 124 laps recorded for Friday practice.