Nico Rosberg has kept his advantage over Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in the final practice session of the 2015 Formula 1 season at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit.

The German, who is gunning for three race wins on the trot, beat Hamilton by 0.281 seconds in the final on-track running before this evening’s qualifying session, while fourth-fastest Sergio Pérez split the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen on the timesheets.

While the Mercedes’ occupied their usual 1-2 at the top of the timesheets, there was still evidence of tension between its two drivers after Hamilton complained over the pit-to-car radio that Rosberg had held him up on a flying lap late in the one-hour session.

Vettel was the Silver Arrows’ closest challenger, finishing just over three-tenths of a second off Rosberg’s pace, with teammate Räikkönen a further four-tenths adrift.

By far the star performer of the weekend so far has been Pérez, who continued his red hot Friday form with the fourth-fastest time of the session. Teammate Nico Hülkenberg was seventh-fastest in the Silverstone team’s other VJM08B, just behind Daniel Ricciardo, who was the only Red Bull Racing driver to complete a timed lap after troubles for teammate Daniil Kvyat.

Kvyat’s car appeared to suffer from electrical gremlins early on, with the Russian forced back into the pits after his installation lap.

The Williams Mercedes’ of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished eighth- and ninth-fastest respectively, although the team is yet to really show its hand after opting to give each driver just one set of either tyre compound to use in the session. By contrast, every other driver to post a time in this session ran on at least four different sets of Pirelli tyres.

More to follow


2015 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 Results
Pos Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:41.856 19
2. Lewis Hamilton uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:42.137 + 0.281 19
3. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:42.185 + 0.329 19
4. Sergio Pérez mx Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B 1:42.448 + 0.592 17
5. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:42.627 + 0.771 17
6. Daniel Ricciardo au Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:42.726 + 0.870 14
7. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B 1:42.859 + 1.003 17
8. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:43.173 + 1.317 23
9. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:43.239 + 1.383 18
10. Carlos Sainz es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:43.429 + 1.573 21
11. Jenson Button uk McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:43.508 + 1.652 14
12. Pastor Maldonado ve Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:43.680 + 1.824 17
13. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:43.718 + 1.862 23
14. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:43.826 + 1.970 18
15. Romain Grosjean fr Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:43.928 + 2.072 20
16. Fernando Alonso es McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:44.014 + 2.158 12
17. Marcus Ericsson se Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:44.325 + 2.469 20
18. Will Stevens uk Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B 1:47.283 + 5.427 15
19. Roberto Merhi es Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B 1:47.520 + 5.664 16
20. Daniil Kvyat ru Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 no time 2

Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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