Rosberg fastest as Mercedes dominate in Abu Dhabi
By Alan Baldwin
ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg knocked triple world champion team mate 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 one minute 41.983 seconds under the Yas Marina floodlights.
He revealed afterwards, however, that he would have to use an old engine for the rest of the weekend which will put him at a disadvantage.
"We have had to stretch the engine life more than we had planned over the 19 races, so I definitely have a small lack of power on the straights and therefore need to make up extra time in the corners," said Rosberg.
"It will be a big battle with Lewis here. He didn't really bring together his quick laps, so it will be even closer tomorrow I'm sure."
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 1:43.754 but ended the day 0.138 slower.
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 United Arab Emirates.
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. Continued...