Red Bull is scrambling to get Daniel Ricciardo's car back into working order after a dramatic exit for the RB14 in final practice.
Ricciardo suffered what the team called a turbocharger failure in Shanghai after completing only four laps in FP3.
“I think we’ve got a suspected turbo failure," Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told Sky Sports F1. "That’s what the analysis is at the moment.
“Whether that’s damaged the combustion engine as well only time will tell. It certainly looks turbo orientated at the moment."
Ricciardo had been confined to the garage for most of the one-hour session, before finally making an appearance in the last 20 minutes.
However, he was forced to pull over to the side of the track in the final sector with flames and smoke billowing out of the back of the car.
Ricciardo quickly jumped out of the car and vaulted over the safety barrier. He left the stricken Red Bull to be attended to by marshalls under a virtual safety car.
The car was returned to the team garage where work commenced immediately to confirm the problem and effect repairs.
However, with only two hours between the end of FP3 and the start of qualifying, the team faces a huge challenge to be ready in time.
“The boys have got to work a miracle to get that turned around for qualifying now," Horner admitted.
"[We have to] get the bits of shrapnel back, get the data, have a look at it," he continued.
"The bottom line now is it’s a big task to try and get it turned around for qualifying."
It's another huge setback for the team, after Ricciardo was hit by a gearbox penalty in Bahrain last week. He then retired from the race with an issue with his energy store which meant his car suddenly turned itself off.
"It’s the second race in a row," said a frustrated Horner. "We had the energy store last race, we’ve got this issue before we’ve even got into qualifying here.
“The failure we had last weekend has been seen previously,” he added, “And in pre-season on other cars as well.
"This failure today? Let’s get the analysis, understand what it is fully – there will be plenty of information on it I’m sure."
"We’re only on race three, so disappointed is probably an understatement.”