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F1 - Yas Marina, FP3: Hamilton heads Mercedes 1-2 in final practice

Beating team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.273s

25 November 2017 - 12h05, by Olivier Ferret 

Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2 in final practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, beating team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.273s. The Constructors’ champions’ closest rival was Kimi Räikkönen, with the Finn finishing 0.257 behind compatriot Bottas.

In a quiet start to the session, which was run in full sunshine conditions not relative to those to come in qualifying and the race, Räikkönen led the way with a time of 1:38.999 set on ultrasoft tyres. However, just under 20 minutes into the session both Mercedes joined the fray and the Ferrari man was quickly dislodged by Hamilton and then by Bottas.

There was then a bizarre moment as the Virtual Safety Car was briefly deployed when a large parasol drifted on to the track in Turn 8. It was quickly removed by marshals and the action resumed. Hamilton again took over at the top with a time of 1:38.159 as the switch to qualifying runs approached.

Räikkönen was the first to make a major move in that regard, the Finn reclaiming P1 with a time just 0.002s clear of Hamilton’s earlier benchmark.

Mercedes were on track, however, and when their runs were complete Hamilton was back in control with a best time of 1:37.627s to head Bottas by just under three tenths of a second and Räikkönen and fourth-placed Sebastian Vettel by over half a second.

Fifth place went to Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, though the Australian was 0.713s off the pace. He was, however, two tenths clear of team-mate Max Verstappen, whose qualifying sim appeared to be compromised by a struggle for rear grip.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso finished in seventh place, just over a tenth of a second ahead of team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne. Renault’s Carlos Sainz finished in ninth place and Force India’s Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10.

01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:37.627 19
02 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG 1:37.900 21
03 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:38.157 22
04 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:38.174 22
05 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:38.340 16
06 Max Verstappen Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:38.587 14
07 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:39.155 15
08 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:39.277 18
09 Carlos Sainz Renault F1 1:39.340 15
10 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:39.367 19
11 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:39.383 16
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 1:39.396 18
13 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:39.500 18
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:39.831 19
15 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:40.079 19
16 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:40.307 20
17 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:40.572 16
18 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Renault 1:40.737 21
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:40.789 21
20 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso Renault 1:40.883 23

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