Abu Dhabi GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report

Hamilton impresses in FP3

Lewis Hamilton, Abu Dhabi GP 2011

Lewis Hamilton, Abu Dhabi GP 2011 

 © Active Pictures

Lewis Hamilton (1:38.976) topped the final session of free practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, an impressive 0.43s quicker than world champion Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull (1:39.427).

Hamilton took pole position for the inaugural race here in 2009 and looks particularly strong in the tight final sector of the lap. Hamilton led that race in the early stages before encountering a brake problem.

Mark Webber (1:39.427) was third quickest, two hundredths of a second slower than his team mate, and just two thousandths faster than Jenson Button (1:39.429) with the second McLaren.

Fernando Alonso (1:39.661) set the quicker Ferrari time, fifth overall, ahead of Nico Rosberg (1:40.135) with the first Mercedes and Felipe Massa (1:40.183). Alonso is understood to have kept Ferrari's development front wing on the car while Massa has gone back to an earlier specification after more visible flexing issues.

The Force Indias, battling to hang onto sixth place in the constructors championship, finished the session with Adrian Sutil eighth (1:40.429) and Paul Di Resta ninth (1:40.511), ahead of Michael Schumacher (1:40.938) with the second Mercedes.

Rubens Barrichello, so far the only non Virgin/Lotus/HRT driver not to make it through to Q3 this year, looks unlikely to break that run in Abu Dhabi having lost most of the session to an oil leak that required the engine/gearbox to come off the car, after an interrupted Friday also. Jarno Trulli also got no running at Lotus after a gearbox problem.

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