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Final practice - McLaren back on top as Vettel hits trouble 03 Nov 2012

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday, 2 November 2012 Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull had brake problems for most of Practice Three Pedro de La Rosa and Kimi Raikkonen emerge from the heat haze in Abu Dhabi

McLaren jumped back to the fore in the final practice session in Abu Dhabi on Saturday afternoon, with Lewis Hamilton setting the pace throughout to head Jenson Button by 0.290s. Hamilton lapped in 1m 41.130s, Button in 1m 42.420s.

Behind them Sebastian Vettel sat out all but the final few minutes with a brake problem, before storming round to complete his sixth lap in 1m 42.614s, which was an excellent effort that jumped him to third ahead of Red Bull team mate Mark Webber on 1m 42.743s.

Behind this quartet, Nico Hulkenberg was the star with fifth place for Force India in 1m 42.750s which left him ahead of Romain Grosjean’s Lotus on 1m 43.015s, Pastor Maldonado’s Williams on 1m 43.064s, Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari on 1m 43.133s, Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus on 1m 43.184s, Paul di Resta’s Force India on 1m 43.338s, Felipe Massa’s Ferrari on 1m 43.480s, Sergio Perez’s Sauber on 1m 43.571s, Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes on 1m 43.593s and Michael Schumacher’s similar car on 1m 43.635s.

Kamui Kobayashi was 15th on 1m 44.010s in the second Sauber, ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso on 1m 44.025s, Bruno Senna’s Williams on 1m 44.071 and Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso on 1m 44.149s.

Heikki Kovalainen was Caterham’s leader on 1m 45.301s, pursued by the Marussias of Timo Glock on 1m 45.879s and Charles Pic on 1m 46.036s. Vitaly Petrov was next on 1m 46.261s for Caterham, from the HRTs of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan on 1m 46.554s and 1m 47.032s respectively.

It was a relatively quiet hour of running, and sets the scene for a battle between McLaren and Red Bull for pole position.

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