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Kimi Raikkonen fastest in final practice for Malaysian Grand Prix

The Ferrari duo of Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel set the pace on Saturday morning in Sepang.

F1 30/09/17 08:41
Kimi Raikkonen fastest in final practice for Malaysian Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen was fastest in final practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix as championship leader Lewis Hamilton again failed to trouble the front-runners.

The Ferrari duo of Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel set the pace on Saturday morning in Sepang, with the Finn clocking an unbeatable time of 1min 31.880seconds.

It was not all plain sailing for Ferrari as Vettel was forced to return to his garage towards the end of the session after slowing down on track.

Hamilton had suffered what he labelled a “very difficult” day on Friday as he was unable to get within a second of Vettel, who is looking to close a 28-point gap in the drivers’ standings to the Mercedes man.

It improved only slightly for Hamilton, who was fifth fastest, with his team-mate Valtteri Bottas ahead in fourth.

The Red Bulls could also threaten Hamilton’s hopes of a strong qualifying – both were fast in Friday’s running and Daniel Ricciardo was the man who got closest to the Ferraris again. The second Red Bull of Max Verstappen was sixth fastest despite a late collision with Renault’s Jolyon Palmer.

The Force India pair of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon sandwiched eighth-place Felipe Massa and Stoffel Vandoorne’s McLaren rounded out the top 10.

Fernando Alonso was next in the sister McLaren with Lance Stroll’s Williams ahead of the Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was 14th, with Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly next up in the Toro Rossos, Palmer only able to take 17th before his late coming together with Verstappen.

Romain Grosjean had suffered a big crash on Friday after his Haas hit an uncovered drain and the Frenchman was 18th in final practice ahead of the Sauber duo of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

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