For the first time this weekend, Nico Rosberg was the faster of the two Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS drivers as he beat team-mate Lewis Hamilton in third practice at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
0.369s separated the two Mercedes drivers, with Rosberg’s 1:41.424s beating Hamilton’s 1:41.793s. The two of them are once again well clear of the rest of the field, with Williams Martini Racing’s Felipe Massa the best of the rest in third but over one second slower than the pace of Rosberg.
After losing the majority of second practice on Friday, Fernando Alonso was eager to make up for lost time, but only completed eight laps before being called back into the pits so Ferrari could change his engine before qualifying. His one timed lap on the Supersoft Pirelli tyres was enough to see him fourth fastest, proving there is some pace in his Ferrari this weekend.
Alonso’s lap time was 0.024s faster than his replacement in the Ferrari team for 2015 Sebastian Vettel, who was fifth fastest in his final practice session for the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team.
Jenson Button was sixth for McLaren on what could be his final Formula 1 Grand Prix with the line-up in the team for 2015 yet to be confirmed, just 0.005s faster than the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, while Valtteri Bottas was a further 0.021s back in eighth for Williams.
Daniil Kvyat was ninth fastest for Scuderia Toro Rosso, only 0.015s slower than Bottas, while Kimi Raikkonen completed the top ten in the second Ferrari.
A number of drivers ran off the track during the session, including Rosberg and Ricciardo, but also Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean, Esteban Gutierrez and Will Stevens.
Abu Dhabi Free Practice 3 Times
|5||1||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:42.679|
|7||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:42.773|
|13||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Force India-Mercedes||1:43.360|
|14||27||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Force India-Mercedes||1:43.501|