Vettel tops final practice at Abu Dhabi

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuitae

Sebastian Vettel put the pressure on Mercedes in the final practice session ahead of qualifying for the Abu Dhabi GP. Not only that, but Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen were also faster than the Mercedes duo.

Ferrari was first to take on the ultrasofts, with Raikkonen topping the timesheet during most of the session. Mercedes opted to run on super softs for their first laps, only switching to the fastest tyre 15 minutes from the end.

Ten minutes from the end, Vettel emerged on top again, having fitted another set of the ultra soft tyres. He was fastest in two of the three sectors, thereby taking P1 away from Hamilton.

Raikkonen and Verstappen joined the party a few minutes later as their improvements also moved them ahead of the Mercedes duo. Hamilton did attempt to improve later on as well, but was eventually left complaining about his right front brakes, telling the team "you need to check these brakes, I keep on getting the same issues". Indeed, just like on Friday, Hamilton was repeatedly locking his front wheels.

At Haas, Romain Grosjean was struggling again, reporting the he suffered badly from oversteer. He later pitted to make some adjustment, but towards the end found himself going wide through turn 1 on the start of a flying lap, saying "the fronts are nowhere near ready", indicating tyre warmup issues on his car.

Other drivers were less vocal about their issues, but that doesn't mean there weren't any, as several spun during the one-hour session, including Sainz and Massa in the final 5 minutes.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1:40.775-15
233Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:40.912+0.137s20
37Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:40.999+0.224s13
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:41.065+0.290s14
56Nico RosbergMercedes AMG1:41.168+0.393s18
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:41.831+1.056s19
711Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:41.885+1.110s18
827Nico HulkenbergForce India Mercedes1:42.067+1.292s12
977Valtteri BottasWilliams Mercedes1:42.076+1.301s18
1021Esteban GutierrezHaas Ferrari1:42.354+1.579s15
1114Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda1:42.585+1.810s13
1230Jolyon PalmerRenault1:42.616+1.841s17
1322Jenson ButtonMcLaren Honda1:42.664+1.889s14
1419Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes1:42.683+1.908s19
158Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:42.805+2.030s16
1620Kevin MagnussenRenault1:43.057+2.282s17
1794Pascal WehrleinMRT Mercedes1:43.145+2.370s16
1855Carlos SainzToro Rosso Ferrari1:43.301+2.526s9
1912Felipe NasrSauber Ferrari1:43.417+2.642s21
2031Esteban OconMRT Mercedes1:43.733+2.958s14
2126Daniil KvyatToro Rosso Ferrari1:44.105+3.330s12
229Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:44.238+3.463s19