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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 17 January 2021

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Alex Albon dominate final practice session

The pair improved on their first two outings on Friday to take the top two placings

The Red Bull team managed to secure the top two slots in the final practice session on Saturday afternoon at the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen and Alex Albon lapped Yas Marina Circuit in one minute 36.251 seconds and one minute 36.752 seconds respectively.

Under a blazing sun, the drivers initially took their time to head out onto the track, but the session soon got underway with Williams’ Nicholas Latifi first out.

As it plateaued out, Renault duo Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon secured third and fourth slots, significantly improving on their results on the opening day, with McLaren's Lando Norris coming fifth.

World champion Lewis Hamilton managed a sixth placing, 0.761 seconds slower than Verstappen, while the Englishman's teammate Valtteri Bottas, who had set the fastest time on Friday, could do no better than ninth.

It is a significant drop in form for the Mercedes pair, as they have started every race but one this season at the front of the grid.

Hamilton has won 11 races this year, but he missed the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain last week, having tested positive for the coronavirus.

Lance Stroll was seventh for Racing Point ahead of Carlos Sainz of McLaren.

The winner in Sakhir last week, Sergio Perez, also of Racing Point, took the 10h slot. He has his work cut out in the final race as he is due to start from the back of the grid thanks to engine-related penalties.

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Video: Preparing Yas Marina Circuit

Updated: December 12, 2020 04:39 PM

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