Formula 1 News

Hamilton lights up practice

The Brit looks clearly stronger than the rest of the grid; a half of a second gap supports that believe. Only four drivers are within a second.
Saturday, November 12, 2011

ABU DHABI, Nov 12, 2011 (AFP) - Lewis Hamilton's fine form here continued on Saturday as he posted the fastset time in his McLaren in the third and final free practice session at the Yas Marina circuit ahead of Sundays Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 26-year-old 2008 world champion clocked a fastest lap of one minute and 38.976 seconds to sweep four-tenths of a second clear of nearest rival double champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.

Vettel is seeking to equal Briton Nigel Mansells record of 14 pole positions in a season when qualifying takes place later on Saturday, but on this evidence looked to have his work cut out.

Vettels Red Bull team-mate Australian Mark Webber was third fastest ahead of Briton Jenson Button in the second McLaren, two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari and sixth-placed German Nico Rosberg for Mercedes.

Brazilian Felipe Massa was seventh in the second Ferrari ahead of German Adrian Sutil and his Force India team-mate British rookie Paul Di Resta with seven-time champion German Michael Schumacher 10th in the second Mercedes.

Hamiltons return to form after a disappointing rollercoaster season has impressed many in the paddock including his former McLaren team-mate Alonso who heaped praise on him in an interview with Italian media.

"The other guys can win if they've got the best car; he's the one who's able to clinch a championship with a car that's not the best," said Alonso.

Hamilton was fastest early in the session and again at the end after Button, Vettel, Massa and Rosberg had all taken over at the top of the timing screens.

2011 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX THIRD PRATICE SESSION RESULTS

POS
No.
DRIVER
TEAM
TIME
GAP
LAPS
1
3
Lewis Hamilton
McLaren-Mercedes
1:38.976
17
2
1
Sebastian Vettel
RBR-Renault
1:39.403
0.427
18
3
2
Mark Webber
RBR-Renault
1:39.427
0.451
18
4
4
Jenson Button
McLaren-Mercedes
1:39.429
0.453
16
5
5
Fernando Alonso
Ferrari
1:39.661
0.685
16
6
8
Nico Rosberg
Mercedes
1:40.135
1.159
19
7
6
Felipe Massa
Ferrari
1:40.183
1.207
18
8
14
Adrian Sutil
Force India-Mercedes
1:40.429
1.453
21
9
15
Paul di Resta
Force India-Mercedes
1:40.511
1.535
19
10
7
Michael Schumacher
Mercedes
1:40.938
1.962
18
11
9
Bruno Senna
Renault
1:41.509
2.533
21
12
16
Kamui Kobayashi
Sauber-Ferrari
1:41.527
2.551
21
13
17
Sergio Perez
Sauber-Ferrari
1:41.566
2.590
20
14
10
Vitaly Petrov
Renault
1:41.594
2.618
18
15
18
Sebastien Buemi
STR-Ferrari
1:41.622
2.646
18
16
19
Jaime Alguersuari
STR-Ferrari
1:41.855
2.879
18
17
12
Pastor Maldonado
Williams-Cosworth
1:42.025
3.049
19
18
20
Heikki Kovalainen
Lotus-Renault
1:43.409
4.433
22
19
11
Rubens Barrichello
Williams-Cosworth
1:43.861
4.885
5
20
24
Timo Glock
Virgin-Cosworth
1:45.262
6.286
23
21
23
Vitantonio Liuzzi
HRT-Cosworth
1:45.302
6.326
20
22
25
Jerome d'Ambrosio
Virgin-Cosworth
1:45.509
6.533
22
23
22
Daniel Ricciardo
HRT-Cosworth
1:45.732
6.756
20
24
21
Jarno Trulli
Lotus-Renault
No time
1

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