Abu Dhabi, FP3: Hamilton tops final practice, two tenths clear of Verstappen

Bottas 3rd, Perez 4th


By Olivier Ferret

11 December 2021 - 12:08
Abu Dhabi, FP3: Hamilton tops final (...)

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.

01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W12 1:23.274 23
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16B 1:23.488 23
03 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W12 1:24.025 21
04 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Honda RB16B 1:24.047 21
05 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL35M 1:24.106 17
06 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda AT02 1:24.223 22
07 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT02 1:24.251 22
08 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF21 1:24.595 20
09 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL35M 1:24.733 16
10 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF21 1:24.758 21
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 1:24.821 22
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A521 1:24.834 18
13 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 1:25.037 23
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 1:25.048 18
15 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A521 1:25.094 19
16 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 1:25.115 25
17 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW43B 1:25.220 22
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43B 1:25.322 19
19 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-21 1:25.340 18
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas Ferrari VF-21 1:26.332 19

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