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Abu Dhabi GP Rosberg fastest as Mercedes dominate practice

ABU DHABI: Nico Rosberg knocked triple world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton off the top of the Abu Dhabi timesheets as Mercedes dominated the final Friday practice session of the Formula One season.

The German, runner-up in a championship already won by Hamilton, lapped with a best time of 1min 41.983sec under the Yas Marina floodlights.

Hamilton, winner in Abu Dhabi last year after Rosberg secured pole position, had been quickest in the afternoon session by 0.141 with a time of 1 min 43.754 sec but ended the day 0.138 slower.

The season finale: Hamilton out to end Rosberg’s romp

Organisers are also making much of the connection between the number 44 on Hamilton’s car and the 44th National Day anniversary next week of the founding of the UAE.

Another victory would also be the 44th of the Briton’s career and he is determined to end the year on a high. So too is Rosberg, who is chasing his third successive win and sixth pole position in a row.

The Mercedes duo, who will also be chasing a record 12th one-two of the season in Sunday’s race, were comfortably ahead of the rest.

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Mexican Sergio Perez was an impressive third in the evening practice for Force India but still 0.627 off the pace and complaining at the end of the session that his car’s glowing brakes had gone.

Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest in the first session with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat fourth and sandwiched between the two Ferraris with Sebastian Vettel fifth in both sessions.