Jenson Button led a British 1-2 as the final practice session of the 2009 season took place in Abu Dhabi. The Brawn driver finished just 0.002s of a second quicker than his compatriot in an hour-long session which saw several car/driver combinations enjoy a time at the top of the timesheets.
Although a final practice session in the soaring afternoon temperatures will produce slower lap times than one in the evening, the field had no problems in reducing the fastest time from Friday as Button – who traded the top spot several times – set a best effort of 1:40.625. Behind Lewis Hamilton, the second Brawn of Rubens Barrichello made the top three as the consistent Sébastien Buemi finished fourth for Toro Rosso.
Whilst slowed by tyre issues and confused at the earlier top three pace of team-mate Robert Kubica, Nick Heidfeld appeared to have solved his worries to jump up to the top five. With air temperatures at 33°C and the track at 42°C, Kovalainen, Trulli, Kubica, Sutil and Räikkönen’s positions mean that seven different teams finished in the top ten.
Renault appear to be struggling once again; despite Fernando Alonso setting a fastest sector sector time on an out-lap, the former World Champion finished only 16th with French team-mate Romain Grosjean, who spun for the umpteenth time (this time at Turn 1), rounding out the session 18th. Vitantonio Liuzzi was also in the wars, becoming the first made to make light contact with the Abu Dhabi barriers due to a spin at Turn 19.
Giancarlo Fisichella was the penultimate man on the timesheets, revealing that Ferrari is in fact testing a number of components ahead of next year. Rounding out the field was Jaime Alguersuari, who was dogged by hydraulics problems and unable to leave the pits.
Who will be quickest in qualifying???
2009 Abu Dhabi GP Practice 3 Session Times:
|1.||Jenson Button||Brawn GP Mercedes||1:40.625||(21 laps)|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||1:40.627||(18)|
|3.||Rubens Barrichello||Brawn GP Mercedes||1:40.907||(20)|
|4.||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1:40.934||(20)|
|5.||Nick Heidfeld||BMW Sauber||1:41.241||(22)|
|6.||Heikki Kovalainen||McLaren Mercedes||1:41.263||(18)|
|8.||Robert Kubica||BMW Sauber||1:41.322||(23)|
|9.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes||1:41.372||(20)|
|11.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Renault||1:41.403||(23)|
|12.||Nico Rosberg||Williams Toyota||1:41.478||(19)|
|14.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||1:41.675||(24)|
|15.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Renault||1:41.682||(20)|
|17.||Kazuki Nakajima||Williams Toyota||1:42.156||(19)|
|20.||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||no time||(23)|