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Abt fastest in torrential FP3 session

The final round of season 4 got underway at Red Hook in wet and slippery conditions as Daniel Abt topped the times ahead of Mitch Evans and Antonio Felix da Costa.

After a series of complaints from the teams and drivers yesterday of the track’s dusty and slippery conditions during round 11, the teams today are met with a new situation as they have to deal with standing water in the pitlane and on the track causing plenty of aquaplaning during the session.

The cars headed out to the track on the Michelin all-weather tyres, the same tyres used at all the other rounds of the championship, allowing the drivers to get to grips with the cars in only one practice session before qualifying and the race today.

Sebastian Buemi, who finished third on the podium in Round 11, was the first out on track while Alex Lynn, who had crashed heavily in yesterday’s race and damaged his car, managed to set the quickest time early on with a 1:23.053s.

Halfway through the session, Sam Bird of DS Virgin Racing clipped the wall but managed to get going with his car crabbing through the track. The Brit fortunately managed to get his car quickly fixed and out on track again and ended the session just in the top ten.

Tom Dillman, who is filling in for Venturi’s Edoardo Mortara, showed excellent pace throughout the session in the earlier sectors but was down to P13 at the end of the session.

da Costa showed good pace by setting a purple sector about 15 minutes left into the session with a time of 1:18.970s and ended in third just 0.271s slower than the Panasonic Jaguar Racing of Evans.

Meanwhile, towards the end of the session, Felix Rosenqvist of Mahindra locked up and damaged his front wing at the last corner but managed to reverse his car and get going again. Fortunately, the team managed to fix his front wing after a quick pit stop and the Swede rejoined the session before finishing in P9.

Newly crowned Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne finished P8 in the session just below his teammate Andre Lotterer in P7.

Lynn, who managed to set a quickest time in the earlier sectors, finished in P11 but unfortunately the DS Virgin Racing driver received a 10 place grid drop due to a gearbox change.

The track conditions gradually got wetter towards the end of the session which didn’t bring much change to the timings as Abt set the quickest time with a 1:18.699s, 0.097s ahead of Evans.

Qualifying starts at 11am local time and the race starts at 3pm local time.

About Noor Amylia Hilda
Noor Amylia Hilda is a journalist based in Kuala Lumpur with bylines in titles such as Women's Health, Esquire and ELLE. She is also a freelance motorsport journalist covering the FIA Formula E championship and Formula 1.