Abu Dhabi GP, Practice Three: Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two
Hamilton sets another track record; Bottas two tenths slower; Both Ferraris half a second down; Alonso seventh for McLaren; Umbrella brings out VSC; Qualifying live on Sky F1 at 1pm
By Jonathan Green
Last Updated: 27/11/17 1:36pm
Lewis Hamilton continued to set the pace at the Abu Dhabi GP as he set another track record in Practice Three.
The world champion posted a best time of 1:37.627 to lower the record he had set on Friday and lead Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.273 seconds.
The Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were third and fourth, but both half a second down on Hamilton's benchmark.
But the Red Bulls were unable to get near the pace set by Mercedes. Daniel Ricciardo was seven tenths off Hamilton while Max Verstappen was a further two tenths back.
"The form is there and clearly Mercedes have a big advantage over Ferrari and Red Bull," said Sky F1's Damon Hill.
"But I'm optimistic and I think we will get a close fight for qualifying. The reason is that these are not the conditions they will be qualifying and racing in. The sun goes down, the track cools off and things change."
Fernando Alonso took the best of the rest spot in another encouraging display from the McLaren, with team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne a tenth slower in eighth.
There was also a bizarre moment when an umbrella blew onto track halfway through the session, leading to the Virtual Safety Car being deployed.
Renault's Carlos Sainz and Force India's Sergio Perez completed the top 10, with Renault once again holding a hefty advantage over Toro Rosso and Haas in the battle to finish sixth in the Constructors' Championship.
Sainz was half a second quicker than Kevin Magnussen in the leading Haas, while the Toro Rosso's of Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley were nearly 1.5 seconds slower in 18th and 20th respectively.
Lance Stroll suffered another difficult session in the Williams, managing only the 17th fastest time and over a second slower than team-mate Felipe Mass who finished 11th in his final practice session in F1.
Abu Dhabi GP Practice Three Timesheet
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||+0.713|
|Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+0.960|
|Sergio Perez||Force India||+1.740|
|Esteban Ocon||Force India||+1.873|
|Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||+3.110|
|Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||+3.256|