Max Verstappen pipped the Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas to top spot in final practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the leading three drivers were covered by less than one-tenth of a second.

Verstappen put in a late effort on Soft tyres to leapfrog both Hamilton and Bottas with a time of 1m36.566s, putting Red Bull on top heading into qualifying at the Yas Marina Circuit later today.

Verstappen's time was just 0.074 seconds faster than Hamilton's best lap, with Bottas sitting a further 0.015 seconds behind in third.

Alexander Albon was able to impress for Red Bull to take fourth, three-tenths off his teammate's benchmark, while the Ferrari duo of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were left to settle for fifth and sixth respectively.

Both Vettel and Leclerc ran strongly through the first two sectors before losing a chunk of time in the final sector to the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers.

Sergio Perez finished as the leading midfield driver in seventh place for Racing Point, one-tenth of a second clear of Renault's Daniel Ricciardo in eighth place. Carlos Sainz took ninth for McLaren ahead of Pierre Gasly, who completed the top 10 for Toro Rosso.

Romain Grosjean wound up in P11 for Haas after a late lap in FP3, moving clear of Daniil Kvyat and Lando Norris as teammate Kevin Magnussen took 15th.

Lance Stroll finished P16 ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Hulkenberg and Antonio Giovinazzi, while the Williams pair of George Russell and Robert Kubica propped up the running order.

Qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix begins at 5pm local time (1pm GMT) on Saturday.

 

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