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Chinese GP 2011

APRIL 16, 2011

Practice 3 Report - Vettel again in FP3

Sebastian Vettel
© The Cahier Archive

Sebestian Vettel (1:34.968) set the quickest lap in the final session of free practice ahead of qualifying for the Malaysian GP, round 3 of this year's FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Red Bull were the best part of half a second quicker than in free practice last year despite the rules banning the use of double diffusers and the RB7 looks well placed to score its third 2011 pole position in a row. It wasn't such a happy story for Mark Webber, however, the Australian once again apparently without the use of KERS. Electrical issues prevented Webber getting a run on soft Pirellis and he thus finished the session down in 15th place and goes into qualifying 'blind.'

McLaren was once again the closest challenger to RBR, with Jenson Button (1:35.176) marginally quicker than team mate Lewis Hamilton (1:35.373). After conducting more diffuser and aero tests on Friday, McLaren are running revised channels to the lower part of the diffuser with the upper part and the exhaust system in similar specification to Malaysia.

Nico Rosberg's Mercedes (1:35.677) looks to have better single lap pace in Shanghai with the team having solved the rear wing airflow reattachment problems they experienced a week ago at Sepang.

Felipe Massa (1:35.818) set the quicker Ferrari time, 0.16s up on team mate Fernando Alonso. Vitaly Petrov (1:36.098) recorded Renault's best time as Nick Heidfeld was forced to run the previous specification front wing after his pair of offs in Friday free practice.

Adrian Sutil (1:36.125) was eighth quickest for Force India, a quarter of a second faster than team mate Paul di Resta (1:36.370), celebrating his 25th birthday on a day which also sees Williams team principal Frank Williams reach the age of 69. The Force India drivers were split by Michael Schumacher (1:36.141) with the second Mercedes.