Verstappen half a second clear in Red Bull 1-2 in F1 Abu Dhabi GP FP3

Max Verstappen sets the pace in the final practice session of the 2020 F1 season, leading a Red Bull 1-2 ahead of qualifying for the Abu Dhabi GP.
Verstappen half a second clear in Red Bull 1-2 in F1 Abu Dhabi GP FP3

Max Verstappen finished half a second clear of Red Bull teammate Alex Albon in the final practice session of the 2020 Formula 1 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

In the final 60-minute practice session - held in conditions that are not representative of those that will be seen in qualifying later - Verstappen turned in a 1m36.251 to end FP3 0.501s clear of the under-pressure Albon, who was complaining of handling issues throughout until a late effort popped him into P2.

Daniel Ricciardo was an impressive third for Renault, some six-tenths down on Verstappen as he edged out Renault teammate Esteban Ocon.

McLaren’s Lando Norris was fifth-fastest, ahead of returning world champion Lewis Hamilton, who was only sixth in the lead Mercedes.

The German manufacturer appeared to be holding back on its true pace heading into qualifying, with Hamilton over seven-tenths of a second behind Verstappen and seemingly running lower engine modes.

Racing Point driver Lance Stroll was seventh ahead of Carlos Sainz’s McLaren and Valtteri Bottas, while Sakhir Grand Prix winner Sergio Perez - who will take a grid penalty for what could be his final F1 race - rounded out the top 10 with less than a second splitting what will be the points-paying positions come Sunday.

11th place went the way of Daniil Kvyat, who led the lead Ferrari of Charles Leclerc, AlphaTauri teammate Pierre Gasly, and Sebastian Vettel, with the four-time world champion ending his final practice session for Ferrari in 14th.

Having returned to his usual seat at Williams, George Russell set the 15th-fastest time, ahead of Alfa Romeo pair Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen.

Haas duo Kevin Magnussen (18th) and Pietro Fittipaldi (20th) were separated by Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.


Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF1000.
Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF1000.

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