Rosberg sets the pace in final practice at Yas Marina | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile
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Rosberg sets the pace in final practice at Yas Marina


Nico Rosberg continued to set the pace at the Yas Marina Circuit, with the German taking top spot in final practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Yesterday Rosberg had taken over from team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the top of the timesheets in the second practice session and as teams made their final preparations for qualifying the German held on to his advantage. Rosberg’s qualifying simulation on the supersoft compound Pirelli tyres netted a time of 1:41.856 that left him almost three tenths of second clear of Hamilton.

Hamilton, meanwhile, failed to get a clean run on the option tyres, complaining that his team-mate had got in his way during his flying laps.

Third place in the session was taken by Sebastian Vettel, with the Ferrari driver getting to within four tenths of a second of Rosberg’s pace, a result which bodes well for the team heading into this evening’s qualifying session.

Behind Vettel, Force India’s Sergio Perez again looked impressive. The Mexican driver took an unexpected third place in Friday’s second practice session and he was once again on the pace in final practice, taking fourth spot.

The Guadalajara native’s time was just under six tenths of a second adrift of Rosberg’s but he was a full four tenths of a second ahead of Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top five order with a time of 1:42.627 that was more than four tenths adrift of Ferrari team-mate Vettel.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth quickest in the session and the Australian was the only Red Bull Racing driver to set a time, with team-mate Daniil Kvyat completing just two installation laps before retreating to the garage where his team attempted to solve electrical problems with his car.

Ricciardo was the last of the order to get within a second of Rosberg’s P1 time and Nico Hulkenberg was seventh with a lap 1.003 down on Rosberg’s best. Felipe Massa was eighth ahead of Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas the final top 10 position was taken by Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, who made up for time lost following an FP2 stoppage yesterday by posting 22 laps in final practice for a best time of 1:43.429. Only Brazilians Massa and Felipe Nasr of Sauber were busier, with both getting through 24 laps of the Yas Marina track.

2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:41.856 20
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:42.137 +0.281 20
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:42.185 +0.329 20
4 Sergio Perez Force India 1:42.448 +0.592 18
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:42.627 +0.771 18
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:42.726 +0.870 15
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:42.859 +1.003 18
8 Felipe Massa Williams 1:43.173 +1.317 24
9 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:43.239 +1.383 19
10 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1:43.429 +1.573 22
11 Jenson Button McLaren 1:43.508 +1.652 15
12 Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team 1:43.680 +1.824 18
13 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:43.718 +1.862 24
14 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:43.826 +1.970 19
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team 1:43.928 +2.072 21
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:44.014 +2.158 13
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:44.325 +2.469 21
18 Will Stevens Mano r1:47.283 +5.427 16
19 Roberto Merhi Manor 1:47.520 +5.664 17
– Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Racing No time 2