DAMS Racing’s Ayumu Iwasa completed the session opener in the sun-blasted Yas Marina circuit fastest with an undefeatable 1:38.168 after leading the field comfortably, ahead of ART Grand Prix’s Theo Pourchaire, who moved up the order.
With only two races and 65 points from the Teams’ Championship standings still left to play for in Abu Dhabi, the battle continues in this weekend’s title decider. Four teams are still in with a shot at title glory, with only 23 points separating the top three, which will be a challenge for the 22-strong grid.
The free practice session started with Hitech’s Marcus Armstrong taking the top spot from the leaderboard, as Pourchaire took the lead briefly. Although the Kiwi managed to get a hold of the lead, he faced an issue with his car that dropped him down the order.
Iwasa was the closest driver to take the lead, with only 0.10s down the leading time, which promoted him easily. Pourchaire managed to keep his place in the second fastest, ahead of Virtuosi’s Jack Doohan.
Carlin’s Logan Sargeant was forced to finish slightly outside the top three. As the session was ending, Sargeant had to spin off at Turn 9 but kept his place in fourth fastest ahead of his teammate Liam Lawson in fifth.
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Further down, Clement Novalak made good efforts to secure a better finish position but ended up placing his MP Motorsport in sixth fastest. Both Hitech drivers, Armstrong and Juri Vips, got some unfortunate encounters that put them in the seventh and eighth fastest, respectively.
Lastly, the second ART Grand Prix’s Frederik Vesti ended in ninth fastest just 0.003s ahead of the newly crowned champion Felipe Drugovich, who rounded out the top ten.
The final qualifying session will take place at 15:30 local time, as the drivers will have one last shot to take the pole.
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