McLaren pair on top
Lewis Hamilton again emerged top dog in final practice ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, but with a new gearbox in his McLaren which means a five-place grid penalty.
Jenson Button finished 0.123secs behind his team-mate, suggesting he had solved his issues from Friday when he could not get any heat into his Pirelli tyres. That could have been something to do with the fact temperatures were 10 degrees warmer on track and up five degrees to 20 in the air in contrast to Friday's cool, damp conditions.
Hamilton, quickest in FP1 and second to seven-time champion Michael Schumacher in his Mercedes in FP2, clocked a time of one minute 35.940secs for the Shanghai International Circuit.
The 27-year-old had Button in close attendance, and at the very least is poised for a front-row finish in qualifying, however will drop five places for the race on Sunday after the team gave him a new gearbox. That could leave Button on pole, which would be his first since Monaco 2009, and McLaren's 150th in their F1 history.
As for the rest of the field, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg led the way, but the German trailed by 0.449secs and Schumacher 0.572secs in fourth, suggesting McLaren are again the team to beat in qualifying.
Mark Webber was the best of the Red Bulls, the Australian fourth quickest, nearly seven tenths of a second down, with team-mate and reigning champion Sebastian Vettel ninth, a full second off the pace.
Sandwiched in between the duo were Williams' Pastor Maldonado and the Saubers of Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi who look poised to continue their form in qualifying.
Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top 10, but 1.221secs adrift, with Force India's Paul di Resta 13th. Unlike Friday the Scot found himself behind team-mate Nico Hulkenberg by 0.051secs.
As for the Ferraris, both championship leader Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were languishing in the lower half of the times in 15th and 18th respectively, 1.5secs and 1.8secs down.
At the bottom was the HRT of Pedro de la Rosa, 5.5secs back, but with a time that would see the veteran Spaniard qualify.