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
|4||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Force India-Mercedes||1m42.448s|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||Red Bull-Renault||1m42.726s|
|7||27||Nico Hulkenberg||GER||Force India-Mercedes||1m42.859s|
|10||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||ESP||Toro Rosso-Renault||1m43.429s|
|14||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Toro Rosso-Renault||1m43.826s|
|20||26||Daniil Kvyat||RUS||Red Bull-Renault||No Time|