Lewis Hamilton led the pack in the final practice session at Abu Dhabi, followed by Valtteri Bottas in second to put Mercedes clearly ahead of the rest. Both Ferraris were more than half a second down on the pace setter and look set for an uphill battle for pole.
Since the very start of the session, the top times were set by Mercedes and Ferrari, often switching at the top of the timesheet after Raikkonen had set the initial benchmark. Red Bull were a bit absent early on, but when they eventually joined the qualifying simulations, it was obvious they were no match to the aforementioned teams. Verstappen set his car was "so, so difficult to drive". The duo hence ended up 5th and 6th.
Behind them in the ranking were Alonso and Vandoorne. The latter had another eventful session, with several offs, but still managed to get a clean lap in to stay close to Alonso.
Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez completed the top 10 for Renault and Force India respectively. Nico Hulkenberg failed to make it into the top 10, just like Massa and Ocon, their deficit to 10th position was extremely small.
At the back, Pierre Gasly was struggling with car balance throughout the session, complaining about rear grip about everywhere on the track. He reported no traction and a lack of rear grip on corner entry. It resulted in the 18th fastest time, ahead only of Ericsson and team mate Brendon Hartley.
The most notable incident of the one-hour session however was at the halfway point, when an umbrella was out on the track at the apex of Turn 13. A virtual safety car was introduced to get the track cleared again.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:37.627||-||18|
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:37.900||+0.273s||20|
|5||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:38.340||+0.713s||15|
|6||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:38.587||+0.960s||13|
|7||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||1:39.155||+1.528s||14|
|8||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||1:39.277||+1.650s||17|
|10||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:39.367||+1.740s||18|
|11||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||1:39.383||+1.756s||15|
|13||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:39.500||+1.873s||17|
|14||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:39.831||+2.204s||18|
|15||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:40.079||+2.452s||18|
|16||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber Ferrari||1:40.307||+2.680s||19|
|17||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:40.572||+2.945s||15|
|18||10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:40.737||+3.110s||20|
|19||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:40.789||+3.162s||20|
|20||28||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||1:40.883||+3.256s||22|