Mercedes and Hamilton fastest in final free practice session

© XPB 

Lewis Hamilton topped the final free practice timesheet in Abu Dhabi, clocking in with a new lap record as he edged out team mate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

Yas Marina was predictably basking in the sun as drivers took to the track for the final dress rehearsal before this afternoon's qualifying session.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Free Practice 3 results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.627s 19
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:37.900s + 0.273s 21
3 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:38.157s + 0.530s 22
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:38.174s + 0.547s 22
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:38.340s + 0.713s 16
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:38.587s + 0.960s 14
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:39.155s + 1.528s 15
8 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:39.277s + 1.650s 18
9 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:39.340s + 1.713s 15
10 Sergio Pérez Force India 1:39.367s + 1.740s 19
11 Felipe Massa Williams 1:39.383s + 1.756s 16
12 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:39.396s + 1.769s 18
13 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:39.500s + 1.873s 18
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:39.831s + 2.204s 19
15 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:40.079s + 2.452s 19
16 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:40.307s + 2.680s 20
17 Lance Stroll Williams 1:40.572s + 2.945s 16
18 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:40.737s + 3.110s 21
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:40.789s + 3.162s 21
20 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:40.883s + 3.256s 23

Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel traded places at the top of the timesheets yesterday and the Ferrari driver was the first man out, although for just an installation lap.

McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne set the first time, the McLaren driver running on Pirelli's ultrasoft tyres, but running well off yesterday's fastest free practice lap.

The Belgian was quickly replaced at the top by Mercedes' Bottas, only for the Finn to see himself pushed down by his team mate.

Half-way through the session however, everyone headed to the pits from a brief respite when the yellow flags came out to allow the lcoal marshals to deal with a parasol blown on to the track.

Raikkonen fired in a new fastest lap, but Hamilton would have none of it, promptly taking back the top spot after a blindingly fast last sector. An effort which yielded a new lap record in 1m37.627s.

After enduring a moment on the astro-turf as he tried to play catch-up, Bottas posted a time good for P2, 0.273s adrift from Hamilton.

Red Bull Racing kept a relatively low profile, with both Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen ending the session behind both Mercedes and Ferrari drivers, with the Dutch driver in particular complaining about his mount's behaviour.

The last 60-minute run of the season concluded with Hamilton at the top, but the Briton is likely to be challenged later today by his front-running rivals as qualifying shall be run in cooler and likely less windy conditions.

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