F1 Abu Dhabi : Hamilton keeps McLaren on top when final practice

12/11/2011 19:45

Lewis Hamilton maintained his and McLaren’s stranglehold in Saturday afternoon’s final practice at Yas Marina, topping a busy hour with the only sub-1m 39s lap of the weekend thus far.

The fastest time changed hands 17 times, as Jerome D’Ambrosio, Sergio Perez, Paul di Resta, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button, Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Adrian Sutil, Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber all had turns at the top.

In the end Hamilton lapped in 1m 38.976s, leaving the Red Bulls of Vettel, Webber plus McLaren team mate Button in his wake with respective best laps of 1m 39.403s, 1m 39.427s and 1m 39.429s. Fernando Alonso was the final ace, taking his Ferrari round in 1m 39.661s.

Rosberg’s 1m 40.135s in the Mercedes stood up for sixth overall, ahead of Felipe Massa on 1m 40.183s for Ferrari, Force India’s Sutil’s 1m 40.429s and team mate Di Resta’s 1m 40.511s. Michael Schumacher again explored several run-off areas, while lapping the second Mercedes in 1m 40.939s to round out the top 10.

Bruno Senna was Renault’s leader this time in 11th, with 1m 41.509s, ahead of the inevitably conjoined Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Serio Perez on 1m 41.527s and 1m 41.566s, with Vitaly Petrov right in their ballpark on 1m 41.594s in the second Renault.

Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari slipped down the order in their Toro Rossos, taking 15th and 16th in 1m 41.622s and 1m 41.855s. Pastor Maldonado was 17th for Williams with 1m 42.025s, while team mate Rubens Barrichello had further technical problems and was 19th behind Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus. The Brazilian lapped in 1m 43.861s to the Finn’s 1m 43.409s.

Timo Glock and Tonio Liuzzi battled behind them, the German posting 1m 45.262s in his Virgin, the Italian 1m 45.302s in his HRT. Their team mates, Jerome D’Ambrosio and Daniel Ricciardo were close behind on 1m 45.509s and 1m 45.732s.

Jarno Trulli didn’t record a time after stopping his Lotus in the pits with gearbox problems after a lap.

( Source : www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2011/11/12780.html )