The opening practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix was heavily disrupted by the bad weather in Shanghai on Friday.

Following a deluge of overnight rain, the one-and-a-half-hour session was halted after just four minutes with the medical helicopter unable to land at the designated hospital due to the foggy conditions.

The session re-started with a little more than 40 minutes to go, but there was only a smattering of on-track activity with six drivers - including championship protagonists Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel - not bothering to post a competitive lap.

Moments later the red flags were out again - after the local airport was closed due to the worsening conditions - before the session was eventually abandoned five minutes before it was due to end.

During the brief running, Nico Hulkenberg beached his Renault in the gravel at turn two, while there were also spins for the Haas pair of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen posted the fastest lap in the damp conditions ahead of the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll.

Meanwhile, Malaysia confirmed on Friday that it will end its contract to host the Formula One Grand Prix race from 2018 due to declining sales.
Malaysia's tourism minister had said in November that the country will stop hosting the racing championships after the current agreement expires in 2018.
"The Cabinet has agreed to end the contract for hosting the Formula One race starting 2018 after considering lowering returns to the country compared to the cost of hosting the championships," Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement.
State oil and gas firm Petronas is the title sponsor for the F1 race in Kuala Lumpur. The company has been hit hard in recent times by tumbling oil prices.
Petronas, however, will continue to sponsor the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team as part of its marketing strategy, Najib said.
The Malaysian Grand Prix was last held in October 2016, when Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo claimed his maiden win of the season. It will next be held in September this year.