Vettel quickest as title rivals play it safe

2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix third practice

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Neither of the championship protagonists featured in the top three at the end of final practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg did their qualifying simulation runs early in the session, staying out of trouble, and were beaten by late runs from their rivals.

Both Ferrari drivers beat their times. Sebastian Vettel headed the session two-tenths ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who nonetheless had been quickest of all in the first and second sectors. The pair were separated by Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.

Hamilton was fourth after a few minor problems. A temporary loss of power mid-session was blamed on an “unexpected de-rate” within the hybrid system and he was dissatisfied with his brakes as the session came to a close. Nico Rosberg was a tenth of a second behind in fifth place, followed by Daniel Ricciardo.

The Force India pair were next, narrowly-outpacing the Williams of Valtteri Bottas. Felipe Massa was only 14th after making a mistake on his qualifying simulation.

He was separated from his team mate by Esteban Gutierrez, who got his Haas into the top ten, and the McLaren pair separated by the Renault of Jolyon Palmer.

Both Toro Rosso drivers returned to action after parking up due to their tyre problems yesterday. However Carlos Sainz Jnr was the quickest of the pair in 18th with Daniil Kvyat just 21st.

Combined practice times

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1’40.77516
233Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’40.9120.13721
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’40.9990.22414
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’41.0650.29015
56Nico RosbergMercedes1’41.1680.39319
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’41.8311.05620
711Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’41.8851.11019
827Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’42.0671.29213
977Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’42.0761.30119
1021Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’42.3541.57916
1114Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’42.5851.81014
1230Jolyon PalmerRenault1’42.6161.84117
1322Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’42.6641.88915
1419Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’42.6831.90820
158Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’42.8052.03017
1620Kevin MagnussenRenault1’43.0572.28217
1794Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’43.1452.37017
1855Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’43.3012.52610
1912Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’43.4172.64222
2031Esteban OconManor-Mercedes1’43.7332.95815
2126Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’44.1053.33013
229Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’44.2383.46320

Third practice visual gaps

Sebastian Vettel – 1’40.775

+0.137 Max Verstappen – 1’40.912

+0.224 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’40.999

+0.290 Lewis Hamilton – 1’41.065

+0.393 Nico Rosberg – 1’41.168

+1.056 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’41.831

+1.110 Sergio Perez – 1’41.885

+1.292 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’42.067

+1.301 Valtteri Bottas – 1’42.076

+1.579 Esteban Gutierrez – 1’42.354

+1.810 Fernando Alonso – 1’42.585

+1.841 Jolyon Palmer – 1’42.616

+1.889 Jenson Button – 1’42.664

+1.908 Felipe Massa – 1’42.683

+2.030 Romain Grosjean – 1’42.805

+2.282 Kevin Magnussen – 1’43.057

+2.370 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’43.145

+2.526 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’43.301

+2.642 Felipe Nasr – 1’43.417

+2.958 Esteban Ocon – 1’43.733

+3.330 Daniil Kvyat – 1’44.105

+3.463 Marcus Ericsson – 1’44.238

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Sebastian VettelFerrari1’44.0051’41.1301’40.775-0.35573
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’42.8691’40.8611’41.065+0.20478
3Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’43.2971’41.3891’40.912-0.47770
4Nico RosbergMercedes1’43.2431’40.9401’41.168+0.22887
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’44.5561’41.4641’40.999-0.46574
6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’43.3621’41.3901’41.831+0.44179
7Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’44.1551’42.0411’41.885-0.15676
8Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’45.9401’41.9591’42.076+0.11784
9Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’42.2641’42.067-0.19749
10Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’45.0391’42.2681’42.683+0.41582
11Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’45.9251’43.0121’42.354-0.65870
12Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’46.3791’42.3661’42.585+0.21967
13Jolyon PalmerRenault1’46.2191’43.2721’42.616-0.65682
14Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’47.1271’42.8231’42.664-0.15949
15Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’45.6001’43.1081’42.805-0.30347
16Kevin MagnussenRenault1’46.3721’44.1171’43.057-1.0662
17Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’46.4581’43.7541’43.145-0.60978
18Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’44.6851’44.4781’43.301-1.17735
19Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’45.7781’43.9031’43.417-0.48675
20Esteban OconManor-Mercedes1’43.6001’43.733+0.13350
21Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’45.1681’44.0451’44.238+0.19373
22Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari2’01.9891’45.9481’44.105-1.84321
23Alfonso CelisForce India-Mercedes1’45.47625
24Jordan KingManor-Mercedes1’47.55826

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Vettel quickest as title rivals play it safe”

  1. Already car issues on Hamilton’s car and coincidental Rosberg so called has issues too smh..

    1. they just cant run their cars on 100% power than it breaks down

    2. And on Sky F1 Damon Hill and Johny Herbert already tried to down talk it, you could clearly see in their eyes they where just down talk the issues. Why nobody has the guts to say it smh.

      1. Come again?

      2. Hamilton fans already loosing the plot before a single lap of racing has even occurred. Brilliant.

        1. @davef1 It’s not about loosing the plot, it’s about not having faith in the team.

          1. petebaldwin (@)
            26th November 2016, 11:55

            He could always join a different team but I don’t see that improving his chances….

        2. Just one guy and then all the Hamilton fans are crazy being. Nothing new under the sun…

      3. You already accepted HAM does not get his WC it seems. Looking for excuses even before the race.
        Come on, let them race and trust the team and the drivers.

        1. @seth-space Yes because i don’t trust the team anymore.

          1. If HAM wins the WC your trust is suddenly back i suppose?

  2. in qualifying mercedes will be a second ahead as usual

  3. Hamilton posted a few quicker sectors after his best time so that on ultimate pace he had 0.268s in hand rather than the 0.103s shown on the timing screens. But expect both were keeping plenty in reserve.

  4. Pedro Lopes Garcia
    26th November 2016, 11:19

    Massa spun in front of me, quite scary since he stop facing the wrong way and some cars were very close to him.

  5. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    26th November 2016, 12:02

    Don’t worry. Hamilton will tell us his full opinion about this practice in ten years.

Comments are closed.