Lewis Hamilton fastest in Abu Dhabi GP final F1 practice

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in Saturday's practice session ahead of the final Formula 1 qualifying of the season in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton fastest in Abu Dhabi GP final F1 practice

Mercedes driver Hamilton enjoyed a comfortable three-tenths of a second advantage over the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, with Sebastian Vettel third.

Ferrari had control of FP3 for most of the session as Raikkonen and then Vettel hit the top of the pile early on.

Vettel's initial benchmark of 1m38.668s stood until the final 20 minutes of the session, when he lowered it significantly to 1m37.587s on new hypersoft tyres.

Hamilton then blitzed that with a 1m37.176s, before Raikkonen also edged ahead of Vettel by clocking a 1m37.464s.

Raikkonen has been summoned to the stewards for a bizarre pitlane entry incident in which he slowed almost to a stop and then crawled back across onto the track at the last minute.

The Ferrari driver had run wide at the penultimate corner, meaning he failed to get across to the pit entry line in time, and he eventually chose to bail out of trying to head down the pit lane.

Red Bull slipped back after showing strongly on Friday, although Max Verstappen outpaced the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

Verstappen was just over half a second slower than Hamilton but he was ahead of Bottas by two tenths to take fourth.

Daniel Ricciardo completed the top six in the second Red Bull, which was the last car to lap within a second of Hamilton's benchmark.

Ricciardo did not complete the session as he was forced to pull over at the exit of Turn 9, just at the beginning of the second of the two long back straights, with a few minutes to go.

A flurry of late flying laps mixed up the rest of the top 10.

Nico Hulkenberg rose to seventh-fastest with five minutes left, but neither Haas nor the Sauber of Charles Leclerc had completed their final qualifying simulation by that stage.

Romain Grosjean jumped to seventh with his effort, a 1m38.304s, but Leclerc - who spun early in the session and broke his rear wing backing his Sauber into the wall on the exit of Turn 19 - could only manage 11th and Magnussen 13th.

That allowed Carlos Sainz Jr and Esteban Ocon to complete the top 10.

Ocon spent most of the session in the garage after identifying a possible engine problem early on.

At the end of the session Grosjean and the Toro Rosso of Pierre Gasly were involved in a peculiar clash at Turn 17.

Gasly pulled alongside the Haas on the entry to the corner and gesticulated at his fellow Frenchman - who was not notified by his team that he needed to get out of the way of the Toro Rosso - just before the two cars made light contact.

FP3 times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.176s - 17
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m37.464s 0.288s 18
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m37.587s 0.411s 15
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m37.747s 0.571s 15
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m37.933s 0.757s 16
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m38.090s 0.914s 11
7 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m38.304s 1.128s 13
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m38.850s 1.674s 15
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 1m38.970s 1.794s 16
10 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m39.011s 1.835s 7
11 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m39.053s 1.877s 15
12 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m39.074s 1.898s 18
13 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m39.282s 2.106s 10
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m39.612s 2.436s 13
15 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m39.740s 2.564s 12
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m39.974s 2.798s 13
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m39.997s 2.821s 20
18 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m40.117s 2.941s 18
19 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m40.233s 3.057s 14
20 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m41.182s 4.006s 22


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Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Author Scott Mitchell
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