Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix 2015: Results, Times for Practice and Qualifying
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
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:
|4||11||SERGIO PEREZ||FORCE INDIA||1:41.983||1:41.560||1:41.184||18|
|5||3||DANIEL RICCIARDO||RED BULL RACING||1:42.275||1:41.830||1:41.444||17|
|7||27||NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA||1:41.996||1:41.925||1:41.686||15|
|9||26||DANIIL KVYAT||RED BULL RACING||1:42.540||1:42.328||1:41.933||22|
|10||55||CARLOS SAINZ||TORO ROSSO||1:42.911||1:42.482||1:42.708||17|
|11||33||MAX VERSTAPPEN||TORO ROSSO||1:42.889||1:42.521||14|
FP3: Rosberg in Charge During Final Practice
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:
|4||11||SERGIO PEREZ||FORCE INDIA||1:42.448||+0.592s||18|
|6||3||DANIEL RICCIARDO||RED BULL RACING||1:42.726||+0.870s||15|
|7||27||NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA||1:42.859||+1.003s||18|
|10||55||CARLOS SAINZ||TORO ROSSO||1:43.429||+1.573s||22|
|14||33||MAX VERSTAPPEN||TORO ROSSO||1:43.826||+1.970s||19|
|20||26||DANIIL KVYAT||RED BULL RACING||2|
FP2: Rosberg Heads Hamilton as Perez Impresses
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:
|3||11||SERGIO PEREZ||FORCE INDIA||1:42.610||+0.627s||23|
|4||3||DANIEL RICCIARDO||RED BULL RACING||1:42.647||+0.664s||37|
|6||26||DANIIL KVYAT||RED BULL RACING||1:42.798||+0.815s||34|
|8||27||NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA||1:42.928||+0.945s||35|
|13||33||MAX VERSTAPPEN||TORO ROSSO||1:43.662||+1.679s||40|
|14||55||CARLOS SAINZ||TORO ROSSO||1:43.854||+1.871s||20|
FP1: Hamilton Edges Rosberg as Mercedes Dominate
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:
|4||26||DANIIL KVYAT||RED BULL RACING||1:44.702||+0.948s||23|
|6||27||NICO HULKENBERG||FORCE INDIA||1:44.751||+0.997s||22|
|7||3||DANIEL RICCIARDO||RED BULL RACING||1:44.893||+1.139s||26|
|8||11||SERGIO PEREZ||FORCE INDIA||1:44.934||+1.180s||27|
|12||33||MAX VERSTAPPEN||TORO ROSSO||1:45.718||+1.964s||32|
|16||55||CARLOS SAINZ||TORO ROSSO||1:46.220||+2.466s||21|