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Result: Lewis Hamilton sixth as Max Verstappen tops final Abu Dhabi practice

Result: Lewis Hamilton sixth as Max Verstappen tops final Abu Dhabi practice
© Reuters
Red Bull were out in front but Mercedes will hope to turn up the heat when qualifying begins at the Yas Marina circuit.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen produced the quickest lap of final practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Dutchman saw off his team-mate Alexander Albon by half a second as Red Bull completed a one-two in the concluding practice session of the year at the Yas Marina circuit.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton ended the one-hour running in sixth – but there will be more speed to come from the Briton's Mercedes team when the cars hit the track for qualifying later on Saturday.

Formula One is gearing up for its last action of the year following a breathless Covid-disturbed calendar of 17 races inside just 24 weeks.

Hamilton wrapped up his record-equalling title in Turkey last month, but after missing the Sakhir Grand Prix with coronavirus, the Mercedes driver will be keen to capture his 12th win of the year on Sunday.

The 35-year-old finished 0.761 seconds down on Verstappen with team-mate Bottas even further back in ninth.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton during thrid practice at the Yas Marina circuit
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton during thrid practice at the Yas Marina circuit (Giuseppe Cacace/AP)

But the Mercedes team will ramp up the power for the final qualifying session of the year, as Hamilton looks to claim the 99th pole of his career.

Elsewhere, Daniel Ricciardo finished third for Renault in his last appearance for the French team before he joins McLaren.

His team-mate Esteban Ocon was fifth ahead of British driver Lando Norris in his McLaren.

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CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina32221670
United StatesUnited States25312379
JapanJapan2171240
Great BritainGreat Britain15181548
AustraliaAustralia1541736
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

MARATHON SWIMMING
· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

BOXING
· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

DIVING
· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

HOCKEY
· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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