Bottas keeps Mercedes on top in final Chinese GP practice

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Antonio Giovinazzi faced a suspected power unit issue in his Alfa Romeo after just an in lap and an out lap, while Thai driver Alex Albon paid the price of his crash in final practice as Toro Rosso was unable to rebuild his auto in time for the start of qualifying.

The Thai driver, who escaped unhurt, lost control at the exit of the final corner and slammed into the barriers with the mangled auto coming to rest across the start-finish straight in a shower of carbon fibre debris. As a result, the vehicle needed rebuilding around a new chassis and ruled him out of qualifying, but Albon says the hit was not too painful despite needing to be checked in the medical center.

Wolff said that the extra speed carried in the corners was what kept Mercedes ahead of the Ferrari's in qualifying.

"That area of the track, there's lap time there".

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"I think we are getting more and more there, understanding maybe some things related to different tracks, which Barcelona [testing] doesn't show because it's different". You always get one snap, it's quite normal on the Astro over there, but it snapped, and then it snapped the other way, and once you get the tank-slapper, you're kind of a passenger.

But Vettel replied: "If you're at the end of the train, which I was, then it was quite hard". Once you get the tank-slapper, you're kind of a passenger. He tried to regain control but ploughed into a wall near the pit lane, with parts of the auto scattered across the track.

On its official site, the Formula 1 reported that Albon didn't take part in qualifying.

"I think it's all inevitable". I think I was a little bit too greedy.

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"On my driving I made a big step up from yesterday but there was still places I wanted to work on, and the last corner was one of them". I'm surprised that no one else was told because it was not just Max. If he misses qualifying he could still race from the back of the grid. "It has been a good start of the year for me personally and for us as a team, I feel confident".

"[Ferrari] are quick in the straights and there are some really long straights here so for sure they are going to be a big threat and I'm sure they are going to have good race pace as well. I am happy to race".

"If we get close we could have an advantage in a straight line". "As a result of the accident, we are changing the PU and sending the one that was in the vehicle at the time of the crash back to Sakura for a full check".

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