FP3: Hamilton stays on top in Abu Dhabi


Lewis Hamilton claimed the final practice P1 of the season as he clocked a 1:37.627 to lead a Mercedes 1-2 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

The final practice session for the 2017 Formula 1 season got underway on a hot Yas Marina circuit with the track temperature up to 43’C.

In blustery conditions it was the Ferraris who ran the early 1-2 with Kimi Raikkonen ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

It was, however, all change as Mercedes took over at the front.

Lewis Hamilton put in a 1:38.159 to slide up into P1 by 0.478s ahead of his team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

The Ferrari drivers were 0.8s and 0.9s off the pace while the Red Bull team-mates of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were fifth and sixth ahead of Fernando Alonso.

The pace was briefly taken out of practice when the Virtual Safety Car came out midway through the session as an umbrella had blown onto the circuit. That was sorted out very quickly as a marshal ran out to retrieve it.

Back to normal without the VSC, Ferrari were the first to make the swap to fresh ultrasoft tyres.

Raikkonen went P1 while Vettel could only manage third place; Hamilton separating the team-mates.

Once again, though, it was Mercedes who had the ultimate pace as Hamilton returned to the action with a 1:37.627.

Bottas, who had a big moment through the final corner that left those in the Mercedes garage shaking their hands, was 0.273s slower than the Ferraris third and fourth.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth ahead of Max Verstappen, who reported that his RB13 was very difficult to drive, and Fernando Alonso. The Red Bull team-mates were the last drivers to get within a second of Hamilton’s best.

Stoffel Vandoorne, Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez completed the top ten.

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.627
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:37.900 0.273
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:38.157 0.530
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:38.174 0.547
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:38.340 0.713
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:38.587 0.960
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:39.155 1.528
8 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:39.277 1.650
9 Carlos Sainz Renault Sport 1:39.340 1.713
10 Sergio Perez Force India 1:39.367 1.740
11 Felipe Massa Williams 1:39.383 1.756
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:39.396 1.769
13 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:39.500 1.873
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:39.831 2.204
15 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:40.079 2.452
16 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:40.307 2.680
17 Lance Stroll Williams 1:40.572 2.945
18 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:40.737 3.110
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:40.789 3.162
20 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:40.883 3.256