Vettel leads Ferrari 1-2 in final Chinese GP practice

Sebastian Vettel has the bit between his teeth.
Sebastian Vettel has the bit between his teeth.

After dominating this race for years, Mercedes appeared to have no answer to the pace of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, as the Italian cars dominated the final hour of practice around the Shanghai International Circuit.

For the Silver Arrows, Valtteri Bottas was third, seven-tenths off Vettel’s pace, and Lewis Hamilton a further quarter of a second back in fifth after more than one off-track moment and a spin in dramatic fashion after getting too wide on wet artificial grass at Turn 10.

Max Verstappen split the Mercedes for Red Bull but he complained of power issues at full song. Red Bull also suffered serious disappointment for teammate Daniel Ricciardo. His session started late because of a gearbox issue then ended with the Australian pulling over after just four laps with a suspected turbo failure – flames belching at the back of the car.

Not unlike Friday’s sessions, conditions were dry, gusty, cool and overcast. But again grip was at a premium, particularly for those – like Hamilton – who put a wheel wide at Turn 10, where the artificial grass was still holding lots of water from overnight rain.

With just two hours before qualifying, Red Bull will be in a race against time to get Ricciardo's car ready – and Mercedes will be looking for ways to find half a second on Ferrari ahead of the crucial fight for pole…

FP3 Results

1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m33.018s 0.000s 14
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m33.469s 0.451s 21
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m33.761s 0.743s 16
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m33.969s 0.951s 14
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.057s 1.039s 14
6 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m34.329s 1.311s 25
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m34.445s 1.427s 14
8 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m34.456s 1.438s 16
9 Carlos Sainz Renault 1m34.582s 1.564s 20
10 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m34.741s 1.723s 13
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m34.841s 1.823s 16
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m34.851s 1.833s 13
13 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m34.977s 1.959s 16
14 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m34.991s 1.973s 20
15 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m35.061s 2.043s 4
16 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m35.079s 2.061s 16
17 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m35.375s 2.357s 16
18 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m35.497s 2.479s 14
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m35.679s 2.661s 13
20 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m35.756s 2.738s 6

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