Vettel stays fastest in final practice
2 November 2013 – Sebastian Vettel stayed on top during Saturday's final practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The German delivered a time 1:41.349 to edge out team-mate Mark Webber for another Red Bull 1-2, while Lewis Hamilton completed the top three.
As was the case in the opening session on Friday, drivers were unable to guage a true understanding of their cars' handling, with air and track temperatures much higher than they will be during this evening's qualifying hour and Sunday's race.
But the field still took the opportunity to rack up plenty of laps, with the majority of running coming on Pirelli's Medium compound tyre. Vettel was also quickest in this phase, responding to various improvements from Mercedes rival Nico Rosberg.
The late switch to Soft tyres, which was made even shorter after Jules Bianchi spun and signalled a lenghty period under yellow flags, saw a few small changes to the order, with Webber joining Vettel at the front and Hamilton edging out Rosberg.
Romain Grosjean recovered from his Friday evening woes to classify fifth, albeit nearly half a second adrift of Vettel's pace-setting time. Jenson Button followed for McLaren, with Sauber's Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Gutiérrez in close company.
Kimi Räikkönen, who has been the centre of attention all weekend, and Jean-Éric Vergne completed the top ten, while the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa again struggled to make an impact en route to 11th and 14th respectively.
At the back of the field, Giedo van der Garde comfortably led the way from Caterham team-mate Charles Pic, while Max Chilton got the better of fellow Marussia driver Bianchi after the latter's aforementioned incident on the exit of the second corner.
Saturday evening's qualifying hour at the Yas Marina Circuit gets underway at 5pm local time (GMT +4) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net live report feature