sport

Ricciardo fastest in final practice

The three quickest drivers in practice on Friday ahead of Sunday's Chinese GP barely ventured out of the garage for the final session.

Heavy overnight rain, and with constant drizzle in the air, led to a wet final practice run at the Shanghai International Circuit.

With temperatures of just 14 degrees centigrade, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg decided they were better off in the warmth of their team garages than the confines of their cars.

Mercedes duo Hamilton and Rosberg, the latter 11 points ahead of his team-mate in the drivers' standings, along with Ferrari star Alonso and McLaren's Kevin Magnussen all failed to set a time.

Rosberg did at least venture on to the track for four installation laps to assess the circuit ahead of what is likely to be a qualifying session run in similar conditions.

Magnussen and Hamilton managed three apiece, whilst Alonso only did one, leaving Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo out in front.

With a time almost 16 seconds slower than Hamilton's best on Friday in dry conditions, Ricciardo topped the timesheet with a lap of one minute 53.958secs.

The Red Bulls have shown so far this campaign they can give Mercedes a run for their money in inclement conditions, and they may push them hard again when it comes to the one-lap showdown.

Ricciardo finished half a second quicker than Williams' Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean in his Lotus, with Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen both a second adrift.

Pastor Maldonado, after embarrassingly crashing into a wall on the pit lane entry on Friday, suffered a further technical glitch with his Lotus that resulted in the team ordering to stop on track.

The Venezuelan, however, did later return to the fray and managed to elevate himself to sixth, 1.270secs behind Ricciardo.

Toro Rosso's Daniel Kvyat was in close attendance to Maldonado, with Williams' Valtteri Bottas and Jenson Button in his McLaren eighth and ninth in the standings, the latter 1.715secs down.

Max Chilton was 14th in his Marussia, nearly three seconds off the pace, with Caterham's Marcus Ericsson 18th and last of those who did set a time, with the Swedish rookie 4.6secs down.