x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Hamilton tops final Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice

Lewis Hamilton maintained McLaren-Mercedes' good form in Yas Marina Circuit as he topped the times in final practice ahead of qualifying later this afternoon.

Lewis Hamilton was quickest around Yas Marina Circuit in the final practice session.
Lewis Hamilton was quickest around Yas Marina Circuit in the final practice session.

ABU DHABI // Lewis Hamilton maintained McLaren-Mercedes' good form in Yas Marina Circuit as he topped the times in final practice before qualifying for theEtihad Airways Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Briton's lap of 1 minute, 38.976 seconds was four tenths of a second quicker than Red Bull Racing drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.

Vettel, who has already retained his world title ahead of this race, had looked as if he could set a time closer to Hamilton's, but he was delayed by traffic on his last lap.

Jenson Button was fourth in his McLaren, with Fernando Alonso indicating he could still be a threat this weekend in the Ferrari by clocking the fifth best time, six tenths off Hamilton's pace.

Qualifying starts at 5pm for tomorrow's race.

Meanwhile, in today's support races, Bandar Alesayi won the opening Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East race at Yas Marina Circuit.

The Saudi Arabian took advantage of a mistake from Ahmad Al Harthy, who had started on pole, to triumph.

Al Harthy had led the first half of the opening lap, but ran wide exiting Turn 14 and as he scrambled for grip and Alesayi swopped around the outside to take a lead he would not relinquish.

Prince Abdulaziz Al Faisal held off a fierce challenge from Stephane Lemeret to take the final spot on the podium.

Earlier, Fabio Leimler, the Swiss driver, cruised to victory in the GP2 Final feature race.

gcaygill@thenational.ae