Formula 1 News

Vettel fastest again in final practice in China

Button in a close second followed by Hamilton. Mercedes and Ferrari with a encouraging session.
Saturday, April 16, 2011

SHANGHAI, April 16, 2011 (AFP) - Germany's reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel led the field in final practice for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix with the Red Bull driver eclipsing his rivals late in the session.

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The 23-year-old, who has been fastest all weekend, clocked a time of one minute 34.968 seconds in the final minutes of Saturday's practice session.

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Vettel, who is aiming to be the first driver in seven years to take pole at the first three races of the season, finished two tenths of a second ahead of Briton Jenson Button's McLaren. Button's team mate and fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton was two tenths of a second further back in third place.

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Championship leader Vettel's fellow countryman Nico Rosberg of Mercedes was in fourth.

In contrast, Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Australian Mark Webber was left fuming after finishing the session only 15th fastest owing to an electrical fault with his car.

Ferrari drivers double champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso and Brazilian Felipe Massa were fifth and sixth quickest respectively followed by Russian Vitaly Petrov of Renault.

Force India driver German Adrian Sutil was in eighth ahead of his countryman and seven times champion Michael Schumacher in the second Mercedes, while Rookie Briton Paul di Resta in the second Force India was 10th fastest.

If Vettel, who leads the standings after wins in Australia and Malaysia, takes pole Saturday he would become the first driver to start at the front of the grid in the season's opening three races since Schumacher in 2004.

Here are the P3 times:

PRACTICE #3
POS No DRIVER TEAM TIME DIFF. LAPS
1 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:34.968 13
2 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.176 0.208 15
3 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:35.373 0.405 14
4 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.677 0.709 18
5 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:35.818 0.850 17
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:35.971 1.003 15
7 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:36.098 1.130 18
8 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:36.125 1.157 15
9 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:36.141 1.173 14
10 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:36.370 1.402 18
11 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1:36.404 1.436 16
12 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:36.582 1.614 18
13 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:36.596 1.628 17
14 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:36.717 1.749 16
15 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:36.896 1.928 5
16 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:36.953 1.985 14
17 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:37.007 2.039 20
18 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:37.304 2.336 18
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:38.176 3.208 12
20 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:38.739 3.771 12
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:39.938 4.970 17
22 25 Jerome d'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:39.998 5.030 16
23 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1:40.593 5.625 17
24 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:40.881 5.913 18

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