Yas Marina FP3: Vettel fastest as Mercedes wobble

GP ABU DHABI F1/2016 © FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO PER FERRARI MEDIA (© COPYRIGHT FREE)

Sebastian Vettel lapped fastest for Ferrari in the final practice session of the Formula One season on Saturday with Mercedes title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg fourth and fifth.

Vettel, facing a winless year after three victories in 2015, set a quickest lap of one minute 40.775 seconds on the ultrasoft tyres in a hot afternoon session at the Yas Marina circuit.

Dutch teenager Max Verstappen was second fastest for Red Bull, 0.137 slower, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen third on the timesheets.

Rosberg leads team mate Hamilton by 12 points going into Sunday’s season-ending showdown, with both on nine race wins, and the German needs only to finish on the podium to secure his first championship.

Hamilton, who was fastest in both Friday practice sessions, has won the last three races but knows the title battle is out of his control.

Both Mercedes drivers set their quickest times earlier in the session than rivals, with the main focus on later qualifying.

Hamilton reported a loss of power early on, a problem Mercedes made light of and described as just an “unexpected de-rate” of the engine.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit – Saturday, Free Practice 3

POS NO DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 5 Sebastian Vettel FERRARI 1:40.775 16
2 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:40.912 +0.137s 21
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:40.999 +0.224s 14
4 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:41.065 +0.290s 15
5 6 Nico Rosberg MERCEDES 1:41.168 +0.393s 19
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 1:41.831 +1.056s 20
7 11 Sergio Perez FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:41.885 +1.110s 19
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 1:42.067 +1.292s 13
9 77 Valtteri Bottas WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:42.076 +1.301s 19
10 21 Esteban Gutierrez HAAS FERRARI 1:42.354 +1.579s 16
11 14 Fernando Alonso MCLAREN HONDA 1:42.585 +1.810s 14
12 30 Jolyon Palmer RENAULT 1:42.616 +1.841s 18
13 22 Jenson Button MCLAREN HONDA 1:42.664 +1.889s 15
14 19 Felipe Massa WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:42.683 +1.908s 20
15 8 Romain Grosjean HAAS FERRARI 1:42.805 +2.030s 17
16 20 Kevin Magnussen RENAULT 1:43.057 +2.282s 17
17 94 Pascal Wehrlein MRT MERCEDES 1:43.145 +2.370s 17
18 55 Carlos Sainz TORO ROSSO FERRARI 1:43.301 +2.526s 10
19 12 Felipe Nasr SAUBER FERRARI 1:43.417 +2.642s 22
20 31 Esteban Ocon MRT MERCEDES 1:43.733 +2.958s 15
21 26 Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO FERRARI 1:44.105 +3.330s 13
22 9 Marcus Ericsson SAUBER FERRARI 1:44.238 +3.463s 20