F1 – Hamilton tops final practice in Abu Dhabi, two tenths clear of Verstappen | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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F1 – Hamilton tops final practice in Abu Dhabi, two tenths clear of Verstappen

11.12.21

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheet in final practice for Formula 1's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, beating title rival Max Verstappen by two tenths, with Valtteri Bottas third ahead of Sergio Pérez.

Verstappen was an early runner in the mid-afternoon final practice session taking to the track on medium tyres and jumping to the top of the timesheet as he worked his wat down to a lap of 1:24.828.

Hamilton appeared 10 minutes into the session on soft compound tyres and he went more than five tenths of a second clear of the Dutchman with a lap of 1:24.241 as Bottas rose to third place.

Hamilton then increased the gap to Verstappen to seven tenths of a second with a lap of 1:24.055, as Perez bounced Bottas out of the top three to sit just 0.004s behind teammate Verstappen.

Before the halfway mark Bottas claimed top spot only for Hamilton to make another leap forward with a lap of 1:23.274. Pérez meanwhile jumped ahead of his teammate to take over third place, as Verstappen sat in the garage looking in his mirrors as his crew moved him to a lower downforce rear wing in search of more straightline speed.

The Dutchman wasn;t immediately happy with the result on soft tyres though and as the field moved to softs AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda took third with his qualifying simulation and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz jumped to fourth.  

On his second attempt Verstappen found more grip and pace and he posted a time of 1:23.488 to get to just over two tenths of Hamilton. At the flag, Bottas and Pérez were third and fourth, with Norris best of the rest in fifth. Tsunoda held on for sixth, just ahead of teammate Pierre Gasly. Sainz, McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo and the second Ferrari of Charles Leclerc locked out the top 10.

2021 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:23.274 23 228.301
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:23.488 0.214 23 227.716
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:24.025 0.751 21 226.261
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda 1:24.047 0.773 21 226.202
5 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:24.106 0.832 17 226.043
6 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda 1:24.223 0.949 22 225.729
7 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:24.251 0.977 22 225.654
8 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:24.595 1.321 20 224.736
9 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:24.733 1.459 16 224.370
10 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:24.758 1.484 21 224.304
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:24.821 1.547 22 224.137
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:24.834 1.560 18 224.103
13 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:25.037 1.763 23 223.568
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:25.048 1.774 18 223.539
15 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:25.094 1.820 19 223.418
16 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:25.115 1.841 25 223.363
17 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:25.220 1.946 22 223.088
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:25.322 2.048 19 222.821
19 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:25.340 2.066 18 222.774
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas/Ferrari 1:26.332 3.058 19 220.214