P3: Verstappen dominates, Mercedes drives
Max Verstappen leads Red Bull with a one-two victory over Alex Albon. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas only sixth and ninth for Mercedes; Watch the final qualifying for F1 2020 at 1 p.m. on Sky Sports F1, which will be set up from 12 p.m.
By Matt Morlidge
Last update: 12/12/20 11:26 AM
Max Verstappen set a dominant pace ahead of Alex Albon and the Renaults as Abu Dhabi's final F1 2020 practice produced some surprising results, with big favorite Mercedes on the time sheet.
Verstappen, who was now the fastest in four training sessions in a row but is still waiting for his first pole position in qualifying, led with a 1: 36.251 in the sunshine of Yas Marina, half a second ahead of Red Bull team-mate Albon. with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon in third and fourth place.
Mercedes, who secured all but one pole position in F1 2020, goes into qualifying – Live on Sky Sports F1 at 1 p.m. – After finishing sixth and ninth in practice three, with Lewis Hamilton 0.7 seconds slower than Verstappen in the Silver Arrow.
F1 World Champions are expected to have driven their cars in a lower engine mode or with a higher fuel load in a session that was held in temperatures much hotter than expected for qualifying under the lights.
"We should expect Mercedes to be still the fastest in qualifying, but you never know," said Sky F1's Anthony Davidson.
"I think the Mercedes looked a bit heavy and snappy on the exits and not the car we're used to in low-fuel qualifying.
A powerful final sector from Verstappen gave his advantage, while his fastest time was on older soft tires.
And Ant added: "But Max drove well. We saw the difference when he ran over and then he hit him just right. If he can do it, when the tire is in its best shape on lap one, it stays more time. " . "
Lewis Hamilton reflects on both Friday practice sessions, his F1 return and George Russell's weekend with Mercedes.
Lando Norris was also fifth for McLaren, ahead of the leading Mercedes, while Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz of Racing Point left Valtteri Bottas in ninth place.
Sergio Perez, last weekend's race winner, who will start this weekend at the end of the grid due to a new engine, rounded off the top 10.
Ferrari appears to have a third quarter battle in today's shootout. Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel only finished 12th and 14th, while George Russell, fresh from his weekend in the Mercedes, took an encouraging 15th place for Williams.
Abu Dhabi GP Training Three timesheets
|1) Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1: 36.251|
|2) Alexander Albon||Red Bull||+0.501|
|3) Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+0.626|
|4) Esteban Ocon||Renault||+0.648|
|5) Lando Norris||McLaren||+0.743|
|6) Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+0.781|
|7) Lance Stroll||Race point||+0.779|
|8) Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+0.817|
|9) Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+0.834|
|10) Sergio Perez||Race point||+0.976|
|11) Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri||+1,015|
|12) Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+1,019|
|13) Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+1,120|
|14) Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+1.477|
|15) George Russell||Williams||+1,635|
|16) Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+1,649|
|17) Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+2,018|
|18) Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+2,206|
|19) Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+2.514|
|20) Pietro Fittipaldi||Haas||+2.908|