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Hamilton remains quickest at Abu Dhabi

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton goes into qualifying in the best shape possible after posting a time nearly half a second quicker than world champion Sebastian Vettel in final practice.



McLaren's Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets during the final Abu Dhabi practice session before qualifying after becoming the only driver to dip under the 1min 39secs barrier and posting a time nearly five-tenths quicker than world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Hamilton's time of 1min 38.976secs incidentally broke the Yas Marina lap record.

The top six was filled with the usual suspects, with the two Red Bulls of Vettel and Mark Webber sandwiching the two McLarens, with Jenson Button just three-hundredths off second place.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso ended the session sixth, but was six-tenths shy of the ultimate pace, while Nico Rosberg posted a time further five-tenths slower and placed just ahead of the second Ferrari of Felipe Massa.

The Force India duo of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta outlined their intention of keeping sixth in the constructors' championship after displaying some promising pace, the pairing finishing eighth and ninth just ahead of Mercedes' Michael Schumacher.

The midfield remained in close company with just five-tenths separating Renault's Bruno Senna in eleventh and Williams' Pastor Maldonado in 17th.

Team Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen trumped Williams' Rubens Barrichello, further contributing to the Brazilian veteran's torrid weekend, after an engine failure in yesterday's Friday practice left the most experienced man on the grid with a lack of running. The pair finished 18th and 19th, nearly five seconds off the pace.

The tail of the field again consisted of the 'new' teams.

by Simon Evans



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