Hamilton stays quickest in Abu Dhabi

2011 Abu Dhabi GP third practice

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Lewis Hamilton completed a McLaren hat-trick in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel’s 2010 pole position time by almost half a second in the final hour of practice ahead of qualifying.

The McLaren drivers were quickest to begin with as the Red Bull pair delayed their start to the session.

Once the RB7 drivers came out they were closely-matched on pace with the McLaren duo, Sebastian Vettel briefly taking over at the top of the times.

Felipe Massa was one of the first drivers to switch to soft tyres and he headed the times initially, followed by Adrian Sutil and Nico Rosberg.

The Red Bull drivers were the next to show their hand, Webber leading Vettel with a lap of 1’39.668. But Hamilton had more in hand, and beat Webber’s time by half a second to return to the top of the times.

Webber improved to a 1’39.457 on his next effort, despite having to dodge around his team mate in the third sector.

Hamilton found even more time with his last run, setting a 1’38.976 which both Red Bulls fell short of by more than four-tenths of a second on their subsequent runs.

Jarno Trulli failed to set a time due to a gearbox problem on his Lotus.

Pos.CarDriverCarBest lapGap
13Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’38.97617
21Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’39.4030.42718
32Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’39.4270.45118
44Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’39.4290.45316
55Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’39.6610.68516
68Nico RosbergMercedes1’40.1351.15919
76Felipe MassaFerrari1’40.1831.20718
814Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’40.4291.45321
915Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’40.5111.53519
107Michael SchumacherMercedes1’40.9381.96218
119Bruno SennaRenault1’41.5092.53321
1216Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’41.5272.55121
1317Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’41.5662.59020
1410Vitaly PetrovRenault1’41.5942.61818
1518Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.6222.64618
1619Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.8552.87918
1712Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’42.0253.04919
1820Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’43.4094.43322
1911Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’43.8614.8855
2024Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’45.2626.28623
2123Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’45.3026.32620
2225Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’45.5096.53322
2322Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’45.7326.75620
2421Jarno TrulliLotus-RenaultNo time1

Combined practice times

1Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.4031’39.5861’38.976-0.6175
2Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’40.7551’40.1321’39.403-0.72971
3Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’40.3891’40.1041’39.427-0.67779
4Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.2631’39.7851’39.429-0.35666
5Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’40.8011’39.9711’39.661-0.3161
6Felipe MassaFerrari1’41.2601’39.9801’40.183+0.20368
7Nico RosbergMercedes1’42.1301’44.2651’40.135-1.99586
8Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’41.3401’40.9511’40.429-0.52278
9Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’42.1511’41.0211’40.511-0.5184
10Michael SchumacherMercedes1’43.3891’40.5531’40.938+0.38576
11Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’44.4841’41.4901’41.527+0.03773
12Bruno SennaRenault1’42.3691’41.509-0.8657
13Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’44.4121’41.5651’41.566+0.00182
14Vitaly PetrovRenault1’43.1181’41.9471’41.594-0.35362
15Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.6801’41.622-0.05851
16Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’42.3771’41.9831’41.855-0.12878
17Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’43.2551’42.9101’42.025-0.88582
18Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’42.63326
19Romain GrosjeanRenault1’42.68529
20Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’42.7981’43.861+1.06343
21Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’44.5651’43.5621’43.409-0.15385
22Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’44.8981’44.05064
23Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’48.0241’45.4861’45.262-0.22477
24Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’46.3851’46.2491’45.302-0.94768
25Jerome d’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’46.1421’45.509-0.63354
26Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’46.5321’46.3281’45.732-0.59682
27Robert WickensVirgin-Cosworth1’48.55123

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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    13 comments on “Hamilton stays quickest in Abu Dhabi”

    1. Brilliant. Go Hamilton go! Finish strong so that you can start even stronger next year!

    2. I really feel strongly that Hamilton will be on Pole but i could never rule out Vettel,I’ve said a lot now lol.I think Lewis just has those extra 2-4 tenths in the middle & final sectors where his Driving style comes into play.

      Force India & Mercedes are running well as well,Maybe they can mix in with Massa,who we know most likely is going to be out-qualified by Fernando by a considerable margin.

    3. Argh! Its crunch time in the prediction championship, and this FP3 result makes the prediction for this weekend’s race incredibly difficult.

      My heart tells me Hamilton pole to win, but my mind tells me Vettel pole to win.

      1. @Todford Certainly does make predictions a bit of a nightmare!

    4. All cars inside 107% percent of Hamilton’s time as well, so I guess its a bit closer here.

      The mercedes cars were the quickest through the second sector, with the big straights, seems like anyone getting stuck behind either of those will have a hard time passing on track during the race.

      Must say, the Mclaren cars look really good here, better than the RBR cars. But its hard to bet against Vettel pulling out another 3-5 tenths in the nick of time to get pole by a few hundreds. Hm, might be good

      1. My bet is on Felipe getting stuck behind a Mercedes for an entire race

      2. Hard to decide for me too. I now predicted HAM for pole, but having 2nd thoughts about it. Previously when Vettel binned it on Friday, looked disgruntled a bit during rest of the day, and Saturday morning, by Q3 he had it figured out well enough to just pull out those few tenths needed for pole. I can see him do that again.

    5. Did notice that MSC is still cutting the corner at 8/9, just before the second DRS detection line.

      1. Noticed at the end of the practice session on BBC 5live, it was mentioned that the FIA will put a marshal at that corner, specifically to make sure drivers don’t do that for the rest of the weekend.

      2. He only did it one. He over-cooked it going into the switchback

    6. Certainly looks like Lewis has got his head back in the right place.

      A big result before the end of the year will make a big difference to his 2012 preparations and it looks like he could well get it this weekend. Looking forward to qualifying!

    7. it is a good opportunity for lewis to get a pole, then hopefully tomorrow stay out of trouble and achieve a strong result that will give him a nice boost.
      the trully great ones are always back and i believe he will come back

    8. Once again, when McLaren can beat Red Bull it’s Hamilton that beats them. He’s not having such a bad season.

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