FP3: Vettel quickest in wet final practice


Sebastian Vettel was the pace-setter in final practice for the Chinese GP but it was a session where neither Mercedes driver bothered to post a time.

As expected Formula 1 woke up to a wet Shanghai circuit on Saturday morning with the rain forecast to fall throughout the day.

Iit wasn’t until 15 minutes into the hour-long session that drivers – led by Valtteri Bottas – ventured out.

15 minutes later there had only been one-lap runs from those who braved the conditions as well as a minor off for Daniil Kvyat and a Turn 10 spin for Romain Grosjean.

Kimi Raikkonen posted the opening lap time halfway through the session, a 2:00.812 for the Ferrari driver.

That was bettered by Carlos Sainz on the full wets before Sebastian Vettel blitzed them all on the inters. He was the first to use the green marked tyres and did a 1:57.351.

Vettel’s run was not trouble-free with the German reporting “a couple of times now we have had issues getting stuck in first gear.”

As more drivers ventured out, Bottas slotted into second place, 0.710s down, while Sergio Perez was third. Both drivers set their best time on the inters.

Sainz was quickest on the full wets, claiming fourth pace, 1.449s down, while Esteban Gutierrez was fifth for Haas ahead of Jolyon Palmer, who suffered a right-rear puncture on his third lap of the day.

The session, though, ended with just 14 times on the board and neither Mercedes on the list.

1 Vettel Ferrari 1:57.351 3 laps
2 Bottas Williams 1:58.061 7 lapss
3 Perez Force India 1:58.689 4 laps
4 Sainz Toro Rosso 1:58.800 9 laps
5 Gutiérrez Haas 1:59.526 7 laps
6 Palmer Renault 1:59.677 7 laps
7 Magnussen Renault 1:59.761 9 laps
8 Wehrlein Manor 1:59.964 8 laps
9 Verstappen Toro Rosso 2:00.150 6 laps
10 Hülkenberg Force India 2:00.158 4 laps
11 Nasr Sauber 2:00.197 8 laps
12 Räikkönen Ferrari  2:00.812 5 laps
13 Massa Williams 2:02.438 4 laps
14 Haryanto Manor 2:02.732 5 laps
15 Button McLaren No time 3 laps
16 Alonso McLaren No time 3 laps
17 Grosjean Haas No time 3 laps
18 Kvyat Red Bull No time 4 laps
19 Rosberg Mercedes No time 2 laps
20 Ricciardo Red Bull No time 3 laps
21 Hamilton Mercedes No time 2 laps
22 Ericsson Sauber No time 1 lap