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Vettel quickest, Ferrari dominates FP3 in Russian GP

Ferrari showed again consistent performance in third and final practice at the Russian Grand Prix with championship leader Sebastian Vettel set fastest lap ahead of his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Mercedes still trailing behind the Italian squad, Valtteri Bottas managed third fastest and 0.363 seconds behind Vettel and 0.178secs ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Technical problems continued to dog Red Bull. Daniel Ricciardo briefly stopped on the track, a day after his teammate Max Verstappen’s car broke down.

Renault rushed to change Jolyon Palmer’s engine ahead of qualifying after car problems prevented him from setting a time.

Verstappen set fifth fastest lap-time, but he was 1.451s off the pace, a few thousandths clear of Felipe Massa.

Verstappen’s team-mate Ricciardo was seventh ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr and Haas F1 Kevin Magnussen completed the top 10.

Renault Factory F1 driver Jolyon Palmer is in need of a strong performance this weekend, but he failed to complete a single timed lap on Saturday. Renault team worked through the night to change his chassis following an exhaust issue.

But there were further dramas in practice as he limped back to the pits reporting a lack of power. Renault confirmed they will now have to change his engine before qualifying.

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