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P3: Vettel fastest in wet

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 16-04-2016
Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

Sebastian Vettel kept Ferrari on top of the Chinese GP timesheet as heavy rain arrived to saturate the Shanghai circuit for final practice on Saturday morning. 

However, despite the threat of the later qualifying hour also being disrupted by wet weather, Mercedes chose not to set any timed laps with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

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Rain was still heavily falling at the start of final practice and it was 15 minutes until cars were seen on track, with Williams the first team to dispatch their cars on the full wet tyre.

Conditions slowly improved for the intermediates to be used and Vettel went quickest with a 1:57.351, which was seven tenths quicker than second-fastest man Valtteri Bottas.

But in another potential reliability concern for Ferrari, Vettel reported a gearbox glitch during the course of his fastest lap.   

The rain did eventually stop, but the Mercedes pair were among eight drivers who did not set a lap time, with Hamilton and Rosberg only entering track for explatory laps on the full wet rubber.

With the timesheet largely irrelevant, Sergio Perez was third for Force India ahead of Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz and the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez.

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Britain's Jolyon Palmer was sixth for Renault, but suffered a right-rear puncture with bodywork rubbing against the tyre thought to have caused the problem.

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