Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix 2015: Results, Times for Practice and Qualifying

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2015

Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix 2015: Results, Times for Practice and Qualifying

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    The 2015 Formula One world championship was wrapped up by Lewis Hamilton more than a month ago, but there is still plenty riding on the final grand prix of the season in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday.

    Hamilton will be eager to reassert his dominance having lost out to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in the last two races—the German turned pole position into victory in both Brazil and Mexico.

    Rosberg will be similarly driven to pick up another race win to prove he can run Hamilton much closer when the 2016 season rolls around.

    Indeed, had Rosberg shown his current form throughout 2015, Sunday's race at the Yas Marina Circuit could have represented a title shootout between the two Mercedes drivers.

    That was the case in Abu Dhabi last year when Hamilton claimed the title with a race victory, his second career triumph at the circuit.

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has a terrific record in Abu Dhabi, having won three of the six races in the UAE, and he will be confident of taking another victory in 2015.

    Qualification will, as ever, be vital in determining the outcome of the race, and Rosberg's form in that department has been impeccable of late—he has claimed five pole positions in a row.

    Read on for the latest updates from Abu Dhabi and the full results from the preliminary sessions before Sunday's race.

Last-Gasp Rosberg Flies Past Hamilton to Claim Pole

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Nico Rosberg took his sixth pole position in a row after a dramatic qualifying session in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

    The German went quickest by three-tenths on his last lap after world champion Lewis Hamilton had attained provisional pole in the final minute of qualifying.

    Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen took third spot after a rapid final dash to the line, but team-mate Sebastian Vettel provided the biggest surprise of the day after a very poor effort.

    Vettel failed to make the cut in Q1 after a scrappy performance and will start 16th on the grid. A strong flying lap by McLaren's Jenson Button pushed the former world champion out of Q2.

    Hamilton had been suffering with continual understeer as he struggled with his car, but he managed to set the fastest times in Q1 and Q2 and appeared to have beaten Rosberg with his final effort.

    However, the German was in scintillating form, as he was in practice, and destroyed the champion's best effort.

    Sergio Perez put in arguably the performance of the day as he took fourth place on the grid for Force India.

    The driver looked very impressive in practice and continued his magnificent form into Q3.

    Here are the full results from qualifying, per Formula1.com:

    16NICO ROSBERGMERCEDES1:41.1111:40.9791:40.23712
    244LEWIS HAMILTONMERCEDES1:40.9741:40.7581:40.61412
    37KIMI RAIKKONENFERRARI1:42.5001:41.6121:41.05114
    411SERGIO PEREZFORCE INDIA1:41.9831:41.5601:41.18418
    53DANIEL RICCIARDORED BULL RACING1:42.2751:41.8301:41.44417
    677VALTTERI BOTTASWILLIAMS1:42.6081:41.8681:41.65619
    727NICO HULKENBERGFORCE INDIA1:41.9961:41.9251:41.68615
    819FELIPE MASSAWILLIAMS1:42.3031:42.3491:41.75920
    926DANIIL KVYATRED BULL RACING1:42.5401:42.3281:41.93322
    1055CARLOS SAINZ TORO ROSSO 1:42.9111:42.4821:42.70817
    1133MAX VERSTAPPEN TORO ROSSO 1:42.8891:42.521 14
    1222JENSON BUTTONMCLAREN1:42.5701:42.668 12
    1313PASTOR MALDONADOLOTUS1:42.9291:42.807 13
    1412FELIPE NASRSAUBER1:42.8961:43.614 14
    158ROMAIN GROSJEANLOTUS1:42.585  11
    1928WILL STEVENSMARUSSIA1:46.297  7
    2098ROBERTO MERHIMARUSSIA1:47.434  8

FP3: Rosberg in Charge During Final Practice

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    Luca Bruno/Associated Press

    Nico Rosberg was the most impressive in final practice after posting the fastest lap, as he continues to finish the season in admirable form. 

    World champion Lewis Hamilton lagged almost three-tenths of a second behind his Mercedes team-mate, as Rosberg looks motivated to grab pole. 

    Hamilton continued to make mistakes as he made his way around the Abu Dhabi circuit and spun off as he tested his tyres. 

    The Brit looked sloppy as he was forced to brake hard on several occasions, and he will need to do better to usurp Rosberg in qualifying.

    Hamilton struggled as the Mercedes' cars switched to supersoft, and he couldn't achieve clean laps as a result. 

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was third fastest behind the German constructor pair but was still more than three-tenths down on Hamilton's mediocre effort.

    It was a good session for Force India, as Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg both impressed. Perez was fourth fastest in FP3 and will threaten the front of the grid in qualifying. 

    Here are the full results from the third practice session, per Formula1.com:

    244LEWIS HAMILTONMERCEDES1:42.137+0.281s20
    35SEBASTIAN VETTELFERRARI1:42.185+0.329s20
    411SERGIO PEREZFORCE INDIA1:42.448+0.592s18
    57KIMI RAIKKONENFERRARI1:42.627+0.771s18
    727NICO HULKENBERGFORCE INDIA1:42.859+1.003s18
    819FELIPE MASSAWILLIAMS1:43.173+1.317s24
    977VALTTERI BOTTASWILLIAMS1:43.239+1.383s19
    1055CARLOS SAINZTORO ROSSO1:43.429+1.573s22
    1122JENSON BUTTONMCLAREN1:43.508+1.652s15
    1213PASTOR MALDONADOLOTUS1:43.680+1.824s18
    1312FELIPE NASRSAUBER1:43.718+1.862s24
    1433MAX VERSTAPPENTORO ROSSO1:43.826+1.970s19
    158ROMAIN GROSJEANLOTUS1:43.928+2.072s21
    1614FERNANDO ALONSOMCLAREN1:44.014+2.158s13
    179MARCUS ERICSSONSAUBER1:44.325+2.469s21
    1828WILL STEVENSMARUSSIA1:47.283+5.427s16
    1998ROBERTO MERHIMARUSSIA1:47.520+5.664s17

FP2: Rosberg Heads Hamilton as Perez Impresses

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Nico Rosberg went fastest in the second practice session at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday to turn the tables on Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

    The world champion edged Rosberg into second spot in Friday's first session but was pipped by the German in the evening.

    Hamilton was just over a 10th of a second down on Rosberg, with third-placed Sergio Perez another half-second back after an impressive performance in his Force India.

    The Mexican had some brake issues late on and was forced to pit after flames appeared from his right rear wheel, but his early pace saw him well placed on the timesheets.

    The yellow flag came out with half an hour to go of the session after Carlos Sainz was forced to pull up at Turn 7 of the Yas Marina Circuit because of a problem with his Toro Rosso.

    Fernando Alonso finished in ninth, just under a second down on Rosberg in his McLaren, while team-mate Jenson Button was in 16th place.

    In an evening of long running as the drivers prepared for Saturday's qualifying, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was fifth fastest, just behind former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull.

    Mercedes, once again, look to have the pace that will give them an edge in qualifying, and Rosberg and Hamilton will likely be battling it out for pole position—a potentially crucial advantage when it comes to the race.

    Here are the full results from the second practice session, per Formula1.com:

    244LEWIS HAMILTONMERCEDES1:42.121+0.138s31
    311SERGIO PEREZFORCE INDIA1:42.610+0.627s23
    55SEBASTIAN VETTELFERRARI1:42.717+0.734s35
    626DANIIL KVYATRED BULL RACING1:42.798+0.815s34
    77KIMI RAIKKONENFERRARI1:42.849+0.866s36
    827NICO HULKENBERGFORCE INDIA1:42.928+0.945s35
    914FERNANDO ALONSOMCLAREN1:42.955+0.972s31
    1013PASTOR MALDONADOLOTUS1:43.431+1.448s37
    1177VALTTERI BOTTASWILLIAMS1:43.441+1.458s32
    1219FELIPE MASSAWILLIAMS1:43.506+1.523s33
    1333MAX VERSTAPPEN TORO ROSSO 1:43.662+1.679s40
    1455CARLOS SAINZ TORO ROSSO 1:43.854+1.871s20
    158ROMAIN GROSJEANLOTUS1:43.929+1.946s27
    1622JENSON BUTTONMCLAREN1:44.050+2.067s32
    1712FELIPE NASRSAUBER1:44.116+2.133s37
    189MARCUS ERICSSONSAUBER1:45.245+3.262s28
    1928WILL STEVENSMARUSSIA1:46.450+4.467s35
    2098ROBERTO MERHIMARUSSIA1:47.022+5.039s27

FP1: Hamilton Edges Rosberg as Mercedes Dominate

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    Lars Baron/Getty Images

    Lewis Hamilton made the ideal start to the race weekend as he went fastest in the first practice session at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday.

    The Englishman headed his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by just over one-tenth of a second, while Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was over half a second down on Hamilton in third.

    The Finn will be hoping for a strong finish to the season after he admitted to a "pretty average" campaign in 2015, per BBC Sport's Gary Rose.

    He has the chance to claim fourth spot in the drivers' standings from his compatriot Valtteri Bottas as the Williams driver is currently just one point ahead of him.

    As is so often the case in Friday morning's practice sessions, the two Williams cars finished some way down the timesheets, Felipe Massa and Bottas ending in 10th and 11th spot, respectively.

    Jenson Button finished 13th fastest, just ahead of McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso, despite struggling intermittently with lock ups.

    Meanwhile, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was fifth fastest, with Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat again impressing as he finished in fourth spot.

    British driver Jolyon Palmer, replacing Romain Grosjean in the Lotus for the first practice session, was limited to only a few laps after a water leak.

    He had a spin late on in the session but would have been happy to get in any laps at all after the issues with his Lotus.

    Hamilton will look to edge Rosberg again later on Friday in the second session as all the drivers continue their preparations for Saturday's crucial qualifying.

    Here are the full results from the session, per Formula1.com:

    26NICO ROSBERGMERCEDES1:43.895+0.141s32
    37KIMI RAIKKONENFERRARI1:44.500+0.746s27
    426DANIIL KVYATRED BULL RACING1:44.702+0.948s23
    55SEBASTIAN VETTELFERRARI1:44.742+0.988s23
    627NICO HULKENBERGFORCE INDIA1:44.751+0.997s22
    811SERGIO PEREZFORCE INDIA1:44.934+1.180s27
    913PASTOR MALDONADOLOTUS1:45.314+1.560s29
    1019FELIPE MASSAWILLIAMS1:45.433+1.679s20
    1177VALTTERI BOTTASWILLIAMS1:45.603+1.849s22
    1233MAX VERSTAPPEN TORO ROSSO 1:45.718+1.964s32
    1322JENSON BUTTONMCLAREN1:45.773+2.019s15
    1414FERNANDO ALONSOMCLAREN1:45.865+2.111s20
    1512FELIPE NASRSAUBER1:46.115+2.361s20
    1655CARLOS SAINZ TORO ROSSO 1:46.220+2.466s21
    179MARCUS ERICSSONSAUBER1:46.407+2.653s29
    1830JOLYON PALMERLOTUS1:46.501+2.747s9
    1928WILL STEVENSMARUSSIA1:48.836+5.082s19
    2098ROBERTO MERHIMARUSSIA1:49.888+6.134s20