Nico Rosberg finishes final practice of 2015 on top

Nico Rosberg took advantage of a scruffy session from team-mate Lewis Hamilton to top the final free practice session of 2015 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS duo were once again the drivers to beat, with Rosberg securing a best time of 1m41.856s late in the sixty minute session when drivers switched to the soft Pirelli tyre, with the German looking to secure a sixth consecutive pole position during the afternoon’s qualifying session.

Hamilton however looked a bit out of sorts, suffering a few off-track moments, including a spin at turn six, and was unable to get closer than 0.281s to his team-mate.

Sebastian Vettel was third fastest for Scuderia Ferrari, and was much closer to the outright pace than the team showed on Friday, but was not without his own problems as the German suffered a spin at turn one.

Sergio Perez confirmed the pace from the Sahara Force India team from Friday was genuine by setting the fourth fastest time, just 0.592s adrift of Rosberg’s pacesetting time, with the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen a further 0.179s back in fifth.

Daniel Ricciardo placed sixth for Infiniti Red Bull Racing, 0.870s back on Rosberg, but the Australian’s Russian team-mate Daniil Kvyat failed to set a lap time when an electrical fault was found on his car that required extensive repairs.

Nico Hulkenberg put the second Force India into seventh ahead of the Williams Martini Racing duo, with neither Felipe Massa or Valtteri Bottas looking particularly happy with their performance so far this weekend, while Carlos Sainz Jr completed the top ten for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team.

Jenson Button just missed out on a top ten placing by just 0.079s for McLaren-Honda, just ahead of the leading Lotus of Pastor Maldonado, with Felipe Nasr putting his Sauber thirteenth ahead of the second Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen, while Romain Grosjean, who appeared to be struggling for performance compared to his Lotus team-mate was fifteenth.

Fernando Alonso was sixteenth in the second McLaren ahead of Marcus Ericsson, with the two Manor F1 Team drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi ahead of only Kvyat at the back.

Yas Marina Circuit Free Practice 3 Times

16Nico RosbergGERMercedes1m41.856s
244Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1m42.137s
35Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m42.185s
411Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1m42.448s
57Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m42.627s
63Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Renault1m42.726s
727Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1m42.859s
819Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1m43.173s
977Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1m43.239s
1055Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1m43.429s
1122Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1m43.508s
1213Pastor MaldonadoVENLotus-Mercedes1m43.680s
1312Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1m43.718s
1433Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault1m43.826s
158Romain GrosjeanFRALotus-Mercedes1m43.928s
1614Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1m44.014s
179Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1m44.325s
1828Will StevensGBRManor-Ferrari1m47.283s
1998Roberto MerhiESPManor-Ferrari1m47.520s
2026Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-RenaultNo Time