Hamilton quickest as problem halts Ricciardo in final practice | 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix third practice

Lewis Hamilton put Mercedes on top ahead of the two Ferrari drivers in the final practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

On a hot track – over 40C when the session began – Hamilton used a set of hyper-soft tyres to set the quickest time of the weekend so far, six-hundredths inside the benchmark his team mate set yesterday.

Valtteri Bottas could only manage fifth-fastest in the session, three-quarters of a second off his team mate. The Ferrari pair were the closest threat to Hamilton, led by Kimi Raikkonen, though he will make a trip to the stewards to explain why he crossed the white line approaching the Safety Car line.

Max Verstappen was fourth-quickest but complained he was unable to fully charge his battery problem. At least his Red Bull kept running to the end of the session: Daniel Ricciardo, in his final weekend for the team, had the depressingly familiar experience of coming to a stop with a technical problem, four minutes before the end of the session.

Romain Grosjean led the midfielders but had an incident with Pierre Gasly in the final minutes of practice. The Haas driver appeared to hold up his Toro Rosso rival, who then drove close enough to the VF-18 that the pair made contact.

The Renault pair were next and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10 despite spending much of the session stuck in the pits with an engine problem.

Charles Leclerc ended the session 10th fastest for Sauber despite damaging his rear wing by spinning into the barrier at turn 19 early in the running.

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Third practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’37.176

+0.288 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’37.464

+0.411 Sebastian Vettel – 1’37.587

+0.571 Max Verstappen – 1’37.747

+0.757 Valtteri Bottas – 1’37.933

+0.914 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’38.090

+1.128 Romain Grosjean – 1’38.304

+1.674 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’38.850

+1.794 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’38.970

+1.835 Esteban Ocon – 1’39.011

+1.877 Sergio Perez – 1’39.053

+1.898 Brendon Hartley – 1’39.074

+2.106 Charles Leclerc – 1’39.282

+2.436 Kevin Magnussen – 1’39.612

+2.564 Pierre Gasly – 1’39.740

+2.798 Fernando Alonso – 1’39.974

+2.821 Marcus Ericsson – 1’39.997

+2.941 Lance Stroll – 1’40.117

+3.057 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’40.233

+4.006 Sergey Sirotkin – 1’41.182

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’39.543 1’37.443 1’37.176 -0.267 78
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’39.452 1’37.236 1’37.933 +0.697 82
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’38.491 1’37.280 1’37.747 +0.467 74
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’38.945 1’37.428 1’38.090 +0.662 61
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’40.417 1’37.461 1’37.464 +0.003 82
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’40.453 1’37.569 1’37.587 +0.018 75
7 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’40.663 1’38.060 1’38.304 +0.244 67
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’41.023 1’38.230 1’38.850 +0.62 75
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’40.235 1’38.318 1’39.612 +1.294 64
10 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 1’40.102 1’38.402 1’39.011 +0.609 66
11 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1’40.671 1’38.506 1’39.740 +1.234 61
12 Carlos Sainz Jnr Renault 1’40.588 1’38.511 1’38.970 +0.459 74
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Renault 1’42.313 1’38.725 1’39.974 +1.249 64
14 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’41.075 1’38.806 1’39.053 +0.247 69
15 Charles Leclerc Sauber-Ferrari 1’38.831 1’39.282 +0.451 43
16 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso-Honda 1’41.137 1’38.957 1’39.074 +0.117 79
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.928 1’39.502 1’39.997 +0.495 78
18 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Renault 1’42.114 1’39.938 1’40.233 +0.295 54
19 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1’41.493 1’40.046 1’40.117 +0.071 73
20 Sergey Sirotkin Williams-Mercedes 1’40.935 1’41.182 +0.247 61
21 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.662 24
22 Robert Kubica Williams-Mercedes 1’42.992 26

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2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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