The final practice session ahead of qualifying for Sunday’s 55-lap Abu Dhabi Grand Prix saw Jenson Button
record the fastest lap in his Brawn Mercedes, just 0.002s ahead of Lewis Hamilton in his McLaren. However, the two world champion's took differing approaches to the session and
it is significant that Hamilton was able to lap close to the ultimate pace on both the prime and option tyres.
Brawn opted to run for much of the session on the option tyres which are traditionally the faster of the two compounds. However, Button and Barrichello languished in the bottom half of the timesheets while rivals all lapped significantly quicker on the harder prime.
Hamilton dominated the session ahead of his final stint where he switched from the prime to the option and was still able to find two tenths of a second, while Button switched to the prime to vault from 12th to the head of the timesheets with a best lap of 1:40.625. Rubens Barrichello
also made late gains to record the third fastest time ahead of Sebastien Buemi in the leading Toro Rosso. While Buemi continued to shine, team-mate Jaime Alguersuari was forced to sit out the session due to a major hydraulics failure. Nick Heidfeld
struggled for pace until his final run of the session when he vaulted fifth fastest in his BMW Sauber ahead of Heikki Kovalainen in the second McLaren. Jarno Trulli
was seventh fastest in his Toyota with new team-mate Kamui Kobayashi running in the top five early on before getting bumped down to 13th late in the session.
Robert Kubica was eighth fastest despite losing most of the second practice session on Friday with an engine failure in the second BMW Sauber while Adrian Sutil and Kimi Raikkonen
rounded out the top ten for Force India and Ferrari.
Red Bull Renault did not feature a great deal with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber 11th and 15th with Nico Rosberg, Kobayashi and Tonio Liuzzi separating the two. Renault continues to struggle with Fernando Alonso
and Romain Grosjean 16th and 18th with Kazuki Nakajima in between. Giancarlo Fisichella
was slowest in the second Ferrari in what is his final grand prix weekend as a race driver.
Button may have the fastest time in final practice, but Hamilton looks mighty strong to take the pole position this evening at the Yas Marina Circuit.