Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during FP3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during FP3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton struggled in third practice ahead of qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The season-ending event at Yas Marina Circuit will bring the curtain down on a brilliant campaign for the Mercedes driver, but he could only managed the sixth fastest time as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Alex Albon took the top of the timesheets.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas was down in ninth.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon were third and fourth respectively, ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris.

Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was behind Hamilton in seventh and Carlos Sainz in the second McLaren was eighth.

Sergio Perez, the winner last time out in the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain, closed out the top 10.

However, as different teams were testing times on different tyres and fuel load strategies, the times are deceptive as Mercedes look to close out with yet another pole position in qualifying.

Third practice timesheets

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull, 1:36.251)
2. Alex Albon (Red Bull, +0.501)
3. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault, +1.377)
4. Esteban Ocon (Renault, 0+648)
5. Lando Norris (McLaren, +0.743)
6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes, +0.761)
7. Lance Stroll (Racing Point, +0.779)
8. Carlos Sainz (McLaren, +0.817)
9. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes, +0.834)
10. Sergio Perez (Racing Point +0.976)