With videosRed Bull Racing has the best papers going into qualifying in Abu Dhabi, that much is clear after three hours of training. In the final free practice Sergio Pérez (1.24.982) set the fastest time, followed by Max Verstappen (1.25.134) and the two Mercedes.

    During the very last practice of the season, the drivers faced different conditions than they can expect later in qualifying. The sun was still full on the asphalt, where the session from 3 p.m. (Dutch time) will be held completely under artificial light. Max Verstappen therefore seemed to think that an early run would not have much added value in these circumstances and stayed in the garage the longest of all drivers. He waited until the track had come more ‘to him’ and came out after half an hour of training.

    At that time, teammate Sergio Pérez had the fastest time on mediums, but that 1.26.040 did not last much longer. Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and Verstappen all briefly took over P1 before Pérez himself was there again for a 1.24.982. With that, the Mexican, who is fighting with Charles Leclerc for second place in the world championship, was already faster than Verstappen, for example, went yesterday under qualifying conditions. The world champion also fell short in a new attempt: 1.25.134. Ferrari was not at the appointment at all, even behind McLaren driver Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz did not get further than P6 and P7 respectively.

    This was Pérez’s fastest lap

    After practice, the race management will also look into a possible incident under the red flag, caused halfway through by Pierre Gasly who had a flat tire and lost some parts. During that neutralization Lewis Hamilton would have passed Kevin Magnussen and that is not allowed. Norris saw it happen and reported it over the ship’s radio.

    Watch Hamilton’s moment here

    © AP