Abu Dhabi GP: Nico Rosberg heads Lewis Hamilton in final practice

Nico Rosberg heads into qualifying for the Formula 1 title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as favourite after comfortably beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in final practice

Abu Dhabi GP: Nico Rosberg heads Lewis Hamilton in final practice

The German set the fastest time of the weekend so far in the final practice session at the hot and sunny Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

His effort, a 1m41.424s, was 0.7s faster than the Briton's Friday benchmark and though Hamilton also improved he fell short of Rosberg's best by 0.369s.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso set the pace early on, the Spaniard the only super-soft tyre runner for the majority of the session.

Despite ending his session prematurely, getting out of his car with more than 20 minutes to go, his 1m42.653s remained the benchmark until the times started tumbling in the final few minutes of the hour-long session as everyone switched to the super-soft Pirelli tyre.

It was the Williams of Felipe Massa who was first of the remaining runners to switch and he ended up best of the rest behind the Mercedes, albeit over a second slower than Rosberg.

The Brazilian was fourth fastest ahead of the Red Bull of outgoing world champion Sebastian Vettel and the McLaren of Jenson Button. Vettel's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was seventh fastest overall in his Red Bull ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the second Williams.

Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Kimi Raikkonen, who struggled throughout with the handling of his Ferrari, completed the top 10.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m41.424s - 19
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m41.793s 0.369s 17
3 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m42.429s 1.005s 18
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m42.653s 1.229s 8
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull/Renault 1m42.679s 1.255s 19
6 Jenson Button McLaren/Mercedes 1m42.768s 1.344s 20
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m42.773s 1.349s 14
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m42.794s 1.370s 19
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m42.809s 1.385s 20
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m43.038s 1.614s 14
11 Kevin Magnussen McLaren/Mercedes 1m43.112s 1.688s 13
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso/Renault 1m43.352s 1.928s 20
13 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m43.360s 1.936s 19
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m43.501s 2.077s 18
15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber/Ferrari 1m43.643s 2.219s 24
16 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Renault 1m43.718s 2.294s 17
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Renault 1m43.778s 2.354s 18
18 Adrian Sutil Sauber/Ferrari 1m44.022s 2.598s 22
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham/Renault 1m45.044s 3.620s 16
20 Will Stevens Caterham/Renault 1m45.959s 4.535s 21


shares
comments
No sign of help for Rosberg

Previous article

No sign of help for Rosberg

Next article

GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer rejected F1 race chance from Caterham

GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer rejected F1 race chance from Caterham
Load comments
Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words Plus

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words

Some 18 drivers have finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on his way to 100 wins. Three of those recall their battles with Formula 1’s centurion and give their personal insights into the seven-time world champion on his rise to unchartered territory

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021