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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Lewis Hamilton sets pace in final practice of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Hamilton tops times with lap of 1 minute, 37.176 seconds to be ahead of two Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton had been only fourth on Friday, but was superb on Saturday. Reuters
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton had been only fourth on Friday, but was superb on Saturday. Reuters

World champion Lewis Hamilton set the pace in final practice for the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo hit trouble with a mechanical failure.

Hamilton, who had been only fourth on Friday, topped the times with a lap of 1 minute, 37.176 seconds to be ahead of the two Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

Max Verstappen was fourth, but half-a-second slower then Hamilton as Red Bull struggled to match their speed from Friday.

That was the same story for Hamilton's Mercedes-GP teammate Valtteri Bottas. Quickest on Friday, the Finn was only fifth quickest.

But he was better off then Ricciardo, who now faces an anxious wait to see if he can compete in qualifying, which starts at 5pm, after his Red Bull stopped at Turn 9 in the closing minutes of practice.

Further back, Charles Leclerc, in his last race for Sauber before he moves to Ferrari, gave his mechanics some work when he lost his rear wing after hitting the barriers at Turn 19.

He spun on the exit of the corner with his wing disintegrating as he returned to the pits.

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