Vettel leads wet final Chinese GP practice

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Sebastian Vettel led the way in a wet final practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon ahead of qualifying.

Heavy overnight rain continued in the hours leading up to practice, leaving the track wet for the beginning of the hour-long session.

Drivers initially braved the circuit on full wet tires, and although the track did dry out towards the end of the session, the intermediate compound was still required to avoid slipping off the track.

Not wishing to cause any unnecessary damage to their cars ahead of qualifying, the majority of teams ran a limited running programme in FP3.

Williams was the first team to brave the track on wets, with Red Bull being the first to head out on intermediates later in the session.

Vettel posted a fastest lap time of 1:57.351 with around 20 minutes remaining in the running, giving him P1 in the final standings at the checkered flag.

Only 14 drivers posted a lap time in FP3, with Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez rounding out the top three behind Vettel.

Carlos Sainz Jr. finished fourth for Toro Rosso ahead of Esteban Gutierrez, who once again had his running limited after suffering a number of issues in practice on Friday.

Renault drivers Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen finished sixth and seventh respectively, while Pascal Wehrlein ran strongly for Manor to finish eighth. Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top 10.

Qualifying looks set to be a wet affair with more rain forecast for the rest of Saturday, threatening to shake up the grid as the 2015 format returns.

Qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 3am ET.