The final Saturday of the 2020 Formula One season got underway with a free practice session in the daylight ahead of the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.
There was a rather quiet start to the session, which gave us time to turn our attention to the Mercedes livery for Saturday and Sunday, which features the names of all their employees who have worked to create and develop the championship-winning W11 car in 2020.
After no action in the first twenty minutes, we started to see some cars on track with both Mercedes, Haas, Williams and Alfa Romeo cars taking to the track.
A busy fifteen minutes followed, with everyone putting a lap time on the board. Max Verstappen was quickest with 30 minutes to go, his time of a 1:37:175, ahead of teammate Alexander Albon in second and third-placed Valterri Bottas.
The rest of the session was uneventful, although it could be a tough two hours ahead of qualifying for Red Bull. Alex Albon was complaining of understeer around every corner just five minutes before the end of the session.
Verstappen on top
Max Verstappen topped the charts at the end of the session with a time of 1:36.251, over half a second faster than his teammate Alex Albon who was second fastest despite some understeer issues.
It was a good session for Renault, with Daniel Ricciardo in third, 0.022 seconds quicker than his French teammate Esteban Ocon who was fourth fastest.
Mercedes off the pace?
Mercedes weren't looking themselves in the session with Lewis Hamilton going fifth fastest with his teammate Valterri Bottas down in P9, a surprising eight-tenths of the pace.
The lack of pace from the Silver Arrows in practice could make for an exciting qualifying form the neutral.
Ferarri also underperformed in the session with Charles Leclerc finishing 12th fastest. Sebastian Vettel had a poor final practice session with his Italian employers, ending the session in P14.
Advantage Alfa at the back
Both Alfa Romeos finished behind the Williams of George Russell in P16 and 17 but were faster than both the Haas cars and the Williams of Nicholas Latifi in P19.
Its certainly set up to be an exciting final qualifying session of 2020, which takes place at 1 pm this afternoon, UK time.