Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherland's steers his car during the third free practice at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Saturday. Photo: Kamran Jebreili/AP

ABU DHABI – Red Bull's Max Verstappen set the pace in the third and final practice on Saturday ahead of qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Verstappen clocked 1 minute 36.566 seconds on the 5.554-kilometre Yas Marina course, just 0.074 seconds ahead of six-time Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Less than one 10th of a second separated the top three, with Valtteri Bottas closely behind his Mercedes team-mate. Bottas had been fastest in both of Friday's sessions

Red Bull's Alexander Albon was fourth ahead of Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, who set their fastest times on the slower medium tyre.

The last practice was in temperatures of around 38 degrees Celsius, but qualifying after sundown at 1300 GMT will be in much cooler conditions which could correspondingly affect times.

Sunday's race is the last of the F1 season with Hamilton having already wrapped up the drivers' championship and Mercedes the constructors' title.

DPA