Sebastian Vettel bounced back from a gearbox issue in FP2 to finish fastest in the final Formula 1 practice session of the season on Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
Four-time world champion Vettel has endured a tough year with Ferrari in 2016, failing to win a race or put up a fight for the drivers’ title despite high pre-season hopes.
However, ahead of the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, Vettel gave Ferrari a boost by topping the timesheets in FP3 at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Vettel put in a fastest lap time of 1:40.775 on the ultra-soft tire to finish 0.137 seconds clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, with Kimi Raikkonen slotting into third place for Ferrari.
Mercedes had enjoyed the early edge in the session, but did not show its hand completely late on as title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg ended FP3 in fourth and fifth place respectively.
Daniel Ricciardo finished FP3 sixth for Red Bull, opting to limit his running to save tires for qualifying, with Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg ending up seventh and eighth for Force India. Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez rounded out the top 10.
Although the results point to a shaken-up grid, with qualifying taking place in far different conditions as the sun sets in Abu Dhabi, FP3 is a far from representative session.
You can watch qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live on CNBC and the NBC Sports app from 8am ET on Saturday.