November 1st, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull were once again on top in final practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Vettel lapped the Yas Marina Circuit in 1 minute 41.349 seconds, an almost identical time to his quickest lap in FP2 yesterday. Mark Webber was second fastest in the second Red Bull, ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the leading Mercedes.
Temperatures were very high in Free Practice Three, which is not surprising as it started at 2 pm in Abu Dhabi. Air temperature was 36 degrees centigrade at the start of FP3 and track temperature was a scorching 47 degrees. That presented a challenge for the engineers, as the conditions are expected to be significantly cooler for qualifying and the race, which limits the usefulness of the information they can gather during FP3.
Nonetheless, there was plenty of on-track action during the 60-minute session. All of the drivers took part and each completed an average of around 18 laps.
Although plenty of drivers ran wide or had small moments of oversteer, the only major incident of the session came from Jules Bianchi, who lost the back end of his Marussia in turn 2 and spun across the track, damaging his left-rear suspension with a small touch of the wall before coming to rest on the astroturf that runs alongside the track. He was unhurt, but his session was over before he'd had a chance to run the soft tyres. He ended up last in the session, well off the pace as a result of not running the option tyres.
At the front of the field, it was all about Red Bull, with Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg claiming "best of the rest" status. Romain Grosjean was fifth fastest for Lotus ahead of Jenson Button, whose McLaren seems to be working well around the Yas Marina Circuit. Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez were seventh and eighth fastest for Sauber ahead of the second Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen and the leading Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne.
Qualifying starts at 17:00 local time in Abu Dhabi this evening.
Ful results from FP3:
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:41.349||19|
|2||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:41.571||0.222||17|
|12||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:42.681||1.332||23|
|17||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:42.989||1.640||22|
|19||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:44.472||3.123||20|