Lewis Hamilton showed blistering pace, with the prospect of more in hand, to top the timing sheets in final practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
With the title race between Hamilton and Max Verstappen to be decided this weekend, the signs suggest the Mercedes driver has a pace advantage over his Red Bull rival.
Mercedes ran a practice session in keeping with setting up for qualifying later in the day, when the Yas Marina Circuit will be significantly cooler.
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Red Bull, in contrast, took to the track looking to find solutions for the race - after Verstappen’s car did not look perfectly balanced in FP2.
Verstappen ran a series of long runs on medium tyres, while the engineers also tinkered with his rear wing during the session.
The Dutchman switched to soft tyres for the final 15 minutes and was able to get within hailing distance of Hamilton by posting a time of 1:23.488.
For all Hamilton’s searing pace, he topped the timesheets with a lap of 1:23.274, the game’s not up for Red Bull as the Mercedes had issues with the rear tyres overheating - which could come into play in the race itself.
A further worry for Hamilton was that for the second race weekend in a row, he hampered Nikita Mazepin when leaving the pits. Hamilton came on the radio saying he attempted to keep out of the way, but the replays did not look great. Any penalty from the stewards could result in a grid-place drop for the race.
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