Valtteri Bottas closed out practice for the Chinese Grand Prix at the head of the timesheets after edging out Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel in FP3 on Saturday morning.

After leading FP2 on Friday for Mercedes, Bottas was able to continue his good form at the Shanghai International Circuit by setting the fastest time of the race weekend so far, dipping under the 1m33s barrier.

Bottas' best lap of 1m32.830s saw him finish three-tenths of a second clear of Vettel, who set his time earlier in the session on the Soft compound tyre before failing to make an improvement late on.

Vettel ran wide at the final corner on a hot lap that was poised to comfortably beat his previous benchmark, but the German could only finish second-fastest overall ahead of Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc.

Lewis Hamilton also failed to find time on his first push lap late in the session, meaning he could only finish fourth, making a minor improvement on a second hot lap on his Soft tyres.

Vettel was not the only driver to run wide at the final corner, the most costly error being made by Alexander Albon, whose Toro Rosso car smashed into the barrier after he lost control running over the kerb.

The sizeable accident brought out a red flag that ended the session early, and leaves Toro Rosso is a race against time to get the car ready for qualifying.

"He's OK. He talked on the radio," Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost told Sky Sports after the session.

"We will see [if the car can qualify]. First of all we have to investigate the monocoque, if this is OK, and then the engineers will decide if the car can be ready for qualifying or not."

Nico Hulkenberg was able to lead the midfield runners in fifth place for Renault ahead of Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen, while Max Verstappen could only take P7 after failing to get in a quick run on the Soft tyres. Verstappen's Red Bull teammate, Pierre Gasly, did not even breach the top 10, ending FP3 down in 15th.

Carlos Sainz led McLaren's charge in eighth place ahead of Albon, who had been impressing prior to his crash in P9 ahead of Toro Rosso teammate Daniil Kvyat, who rounded out the top 10 positions.

Qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix begins at 7am BST on Saturday.



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