Hamilton stays quickest in Abu Dhabi

2011 Abu Dhabi GP third practice

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Lewis Hamilton completed a McLaren hat-trick in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel’s 2010 pole position time by almost half a second in the final hour of practice ahead of qualifying.

The McLaren drivers were quickest to begin with as the Red Bull pair delayed their start to the session.

Once the RB7 drivers came out they were closely-matched on pace with the McLaren duo, Sebastian Vettel briefly taking over at the top of the times.

Felipe Massa was one of the first drivers to switch to soft tyres and he headed the times initially, followed by Adrian Sutil and Nico Rosberg.

The Red Bull drivers were the next to show their hand, Webber leading Vettel with a lap of 1’39.668. But Hamilton had more in hand, and beat Webber’s time by half a second to return to the top of the times.

Webber improved to a 1’39.457 on his next effort, despite having to dodge around his team mate in the third sector.

Hamilton found even more time with his last run, setting a 1’38.976 which both Red Bulls fell short of by more than four-tenths of a second on their subsequent runs.

Jarno Trulli failed to set a time due to a gearbox problem on his Lotus.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap
1 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.976 17
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’39.403 0.427 18
3 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’39.427 0.451 18
4 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’39.429 0.453 16
5 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’39.661 0.685 16
6 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’40.135 1.159 19
7 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’40.183 1.207 18
8 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’40.429 1.453 21
9 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’40.511 1.535 19
10 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’40.938 1.962 18
11 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1’41.509 2.533 21
12 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.527 2.551 21
13 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.566 2.590 20
14 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’41.594 2.618 18
15 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’41.622 2.646 18
16 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’41.855 2.879 18
17 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’42.025 3.049 19
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’43.409 4.433 22
19 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’43.861 4.885 5
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’45.262 6.286 23
21 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’45.302 6.326 20
22 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’45.509 6.533 22
23 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’45.732 6.756 20
24 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault No time 1

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Sat/Fri Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’40.403 1’39.586 1’38.976 -0.61 75
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’40.755 1’40.132 1’39.403 -0.729 71
3 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’40.389 1’40.104 1’39.427 -0.677 79
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’40.263 1’39.785 1’39.429 -0.356 66
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’40.801 1’39.971 1’39.661 -0.31 61
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’41.260 1’39.980 1’40.183 +0.203 68
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’42.130 1’44.265 1’40.135 -1.995 86
8 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’41.340 1’40.951 1’40.429 -0.522 78
9 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’42.151 1’41.021 1’40.511 -0.51 84
10 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’43.389 1’40.553 1’40.938 +0.385 76
11 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’44.484 1’41.490 1’41.527 +0.037 73
12 Bruno Senna Renault 1’42.369 1’41.509 -0.86 57
13 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’44.412 1’41.565 1’41.566 +0.001 82
14 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’43.118 1’41.947 1’41.594 -0.353 62
15 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’41.680 1’41.622 -0.058 51
16 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’42.377 1’41.983 1’41.855 -0.128 78
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’43.255 1’42.910 1’42.025 -0.885 82
18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’42.633 26
19 Romain Grosjean Renault 1’42.685 29
20 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’42.798 1’43.861 +1.063 43
21 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’44.565 1’43.562 1’43.409 -0.153 85
22 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’44.898 1’44.050 64
23 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’48.024 1’45.486 1’45.262 -0.224 77
24 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’46.385 1’46.249 1’45.302 -0.947 68
25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’46.142 1’45.509 -0.633 54
26 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’46.532 1’46.328 1’45.732 -0.596 82
27 Robert Wickens Virgin-Cosworth 1’48.551 23

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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13 comments on Hamilton stays quickest in Abu Dhabi

  1. Brilliant. Go Hamilton go! Finish strong so that you can start even stronger next year!

  2. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 12th November 2011, 11:14

    I really feel strongly that Hamilton will be on Pole but i could never rule out Vettel,I’ve said a lot now lol.I think Lewis just has those extra 2-4 tenths in the middle & final sectors where his Driving style comes into play.

    Force India & Mercedes are running well as well,Maybe they can mix in with Massa,who we know most likely is going to be out-qualified by Fernando by a considerable margin.

  3. Todfod (@todfod) said on 12th November 2011, 11:18

    Argh! Its crunch time in the prediction championship, and this FP3 result makes the prediction for this weekend’s race incredibly difficult.

    My heart tells me Hamilton pole to win, but my mind tells me Vettel pole to win.

  4. BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th November 2011, 11:25

    All cars inside 107% percent of Hamilton’s time as well, so I guess its a bit closer here.

    The mercedes cars were the quickest through the second sector, with the big straights, seems like anyone getting stuck behind either of those will have a hard time passing on track during the race.

    Must say, the Mclaren cars look really good here, better than the RBR cars. But its hard to bet against Vettel pulling out another 3-5 tenths in the nick of time to get pole by a few hundreds. Hm, might be good

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 12th November 2011, 11:31

      My bet is on Felipe getting stuck behind a Mercedes for an entire race

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 12th November 2011, 11:51

      Hard to decide for me too. I now predicted HAM for pole, but having 2nd thoughts about it. Previously when Vettel binned it on Friday, looked disgruntled a bit during rest of the day, and Saturday morning, by Q3 he had it figured out well enough to just pull out those few tenths needed for pole. I can see him do that again.

  5. Did notice that MSC is still cutting the corner at 8/9, just before the second DRS detection line.

  6. Bookoi (@bookoi) said on 12th November 2011, 11:37

    Certainly looks like Lewis has got his head back in the right place.

    A big result before the end of the year will make a big difference to his 2012 preparations and it looks like he could well get it this weekend. Looking forward to qualifying!

  7. guido (@guidof1) said on 12th November 2011, 11:55

    it is a good opportunity for lewis to get a pole, then hopefully tomorrow stay out of trouble and achieve a strong result that will give him a nice boost.
    the trully great ones are always back and i believe he will come back

  8. Once again, when McLaren can beat Red Bull it’s Hamilton that beats them. He’s not having such a bad season.

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