Practice 3: Hamilton and McLaren look good
12 November, 2011
Nov.12 (Reuters) Lewis Hamilton completed a clean sweep for McLaren with the fastest lap yet in final practice at the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix on Saturday.
The 2008 world champion, who was also fastest overall on Friday after team mate Jenson Button led the opening session, lapped in one minute 38.976 seconds on a scorching afternoon at Yas Marina.
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, his second world title already wrapped up long before his return to the circuit where he became the youngest champion a year ago, was second on the timesheets and 0.427 slower.
Vettel can equal Nigel Mansell’s 1992 record of 14 pole positions in a single season later on Saturday but Hamilton looks a good bet to ensure his moustachioed compatriot’s milestone remains unbeaten.
The Briton has been outstanding all weekend, determined to end a depressing season on a high with strong results in the final two races to banish talk of controversies, crashes and conflict with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.
However Vettel, who spun and hit the barriers on Friday, can always be counted on to pull something out of the bag when it matters most.
Massa was only seventh fastest, while team mate Fernando Alonso was fifth.
Australian Mark Webber, still chasing his first win of a season dominated by his Red Bull team mate, lapped third quickest with Button fourth.
Italian Jarno Trulli failed to set a time for Team Lotus.
Saturday, 12 November – Free Practice 3
|8||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:40.429||1.453||21|
|9||15||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:40.511||1.535||19|
|24||21||Jarno Trulli||Lotus-Renault||No time||1|
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- Ferrari: We leave Abu Dhabi aware that we have limited the damage
- Vettel: I don’t know if there’s a secret. I’ve got traction control – that’s what they said
- Webber: I challenged for a few victories this year but wasn’t strong enough when it counted