Hamilton and Bottas begin to gap field in final practice

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

After Friday’s incredibly tight sessions, the Aldo Costa designed Mercedes started to show its dominance in Saturday afternoon’s running at Yas Marina in preparation for the Abu Dhabi GP. Lewis Hamilton led the way from teammate Valtteri Bottas, with the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel half a second down.

However, it should be remembered that Mercedes always turns up the wick in their power unit for qualifying and tomorrow’s race, so not too much should be read into the FP3 times as the 1/2- second gap will probably grow even larger.

Daniel Ricciardo was the leading Red Bull in fifth, two-tenths up on the sister car of Max Verstappen, while both McLarens made the top ten, with Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne heading Renault’s Carlos Sainz and Force India’s Sergio Perez.

New Zealander Brendon Hartley will start his fourth race in Formula One with a fourth grid penalty after his Toro Rosso team replaced part of his car’s Renault power unit for Sunday’s race.

The 28-year-old double world endurance champion and Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar winner made his F1 debut with a 25 place penalty at the U.S. Grand Prix in October. Hartley was then handed a 20 place demotion in Mexico and another penalty in Brazil as the Red Bull-owned team wrestled with engine reliability. Formula One technical delegate Jo Bauer said in a statement on Friday that Toro Rosso had replaced the motor generator unit-heat (MGU-H) in Hartley’s car, which recovers energy from the exhaust. That breach will incur a 10 place penalty. Toro Rosso are sixth in the constructors’ championship, four points clear of Renault and a further two ahead of Haas.


1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.627 +0.000s 18
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:37.900 +0.273s 20
3 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:38.157 +0.530s 21
4 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:38.174 +0.547s 21
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:38.340 +0.713s 15
6 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:38.587 +0.960s 13
7 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:39.155 +1.528s 14
8 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:39.277 +1.650s 17
9 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:39.340 +1.713s 14
10 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:39.367 +1.740s 18
11 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:39.383 +1.756s 15
12 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:39.396 +1.769s 17
13 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:39.500 +1.873s 17
14 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:39.831 +2.204s 18
15 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:40.079 +2.452s 18
16 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:40.307 +2.680s 19
17 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:40.572 +2.945s 15
18 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:40.737 +3.110s 20
19 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:40.789 +3.162s 20
20 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:40.883 +3.256s 22

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