Germany's Nico Rosberg (Williams) was the fastest on the third and final day practice in Shanghai ahead of Saturday's GP. Just behind were Italy's Jarno Trulli (Toyota) and 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton (McLaren).
AFP - Germany's Nico Rosberg overcame an embarrassing pit lane gaffe to top the timesheets in the third and final practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Williams driver managed to beach his car in a pit lane gravel trap after just four minutes of the hour-long session, but recovered to take top spot with a lap of 1 minute 36.133 seconds inside the final minute of practice.
Toyota's Jarno Trulli, who led for much of the last 20 minutes, was 0.139secs adrift in second.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, fellow Englishman Jenson Button for Brawn GP, and Brazilian Nelson Piquet for Renault rounded out the top five.
Rosberg looked to have squandered any chance of improving on his second in Friday practice when he overshot the pit lane entry in the early stages of the session.
His car was beached in the same gravel trap where Hamilton came to grief while leading the race here in 2007, and had to be recovered with the aid of a tractor.
But he bounced back to jump to third at the halfway point, and his last-gasp lap came on his sole run on the super-soft Bridgestone tyre.
The expected domination from Brawn GP didn't materialise Saturday morning, with Button, winner of both races this year to date, briefly running as high as second but never topping the times.
His teammate, Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello, finished in 10th place.
While on-track incidents were few, several drivers suffered technical gremlins.
Toyota's Timo Glock completed just six laps and spent much of the session in the pits after reported gearbox problems. He finished in 20th and last place.
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso fared little better, finishing 19th after Renault discovered problems with his new interim double-diffuser, which was being tried for the first time.
Pole position will be decided Saturday afternoon
1. Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams 1:36.133
2. Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota 1:36.272
3. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren 1:36.330
4. Jenson Button (GBR) Brawn 1:36.463
5. Nelson Piquet Jr (BRA) Renault 1:36.464
6. Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 1:36.528
7. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren 1:36.547
8. Kazuki Nakajima (JPN) Williams 1:36.560
9. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari 1:36.568
10. Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Brawn 1:36.642
11. Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber 1:36.702
12. Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber 1:36.742
13. Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Toro Rosso 1:36.742
14. Sebastien Bourdais (FRA) Toro Rosso 1:36.834
15. Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull 1:37.330
16. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull 1:37.349
17. Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India 1:37.534
18. Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India 1:37.732,
19. Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault 1:38.003
20. Timo Glock (GER) Toyota 1:39.110
Date created : 2009-04-18