• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP3

Hamilton quickest as Vettel hits trouble

ESPN Staff
November 3, 2012
Lewis Hamilton has been fastest in both FP1 and FP3 © Sutton Images

Lewis Hamilton led another strong McLaren performance during the final practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The McLarens were almost half a second clear of the rest of the field, with Button 0.3s slower than his team-mate's best time of 1:42.130. It was a tough session for Sebastian Vettel, however, who had brake issues and only joined the track to set a time with four minutes remaining. Despite that setback, the championship leader still managed to set the third fastest time during his six laps which included the fastest middle sector.

Mark Webber was fourth quickest, 0.6s slower than Hamilton having been well over a second adrift on the medium tyres. While the majority of the teams found a lot of time, Hamilton was only able to improve by 0.018s when he put on the soft tyres.

Fifth quickest was Nico Hulkenberg, ahead of Romain Grosjean, and Pastor Maldonado - the only other drivers to get within a second of Hamilton's best time.

Fernando Alonso was eighth quickest and 0.05s ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who was baulked late on by a slow moving Webber approaching the final corner. Ferrari continued to be adrift of the ultimate pace, with Felipe Massa 11th and over 1.3s slower than Hamilton.

Track temperature peaked at 45C and air temperature never dropped below 30C during the session, meaning not too much can be read in to the times as qualifying and the race take place in very different conditions at dusk.

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