Nico Rosberg ended the final Formula One practice session of the season on a high on Saturday with the Mercedes driver lapping fastest at Abu Dhabi`s Yas Marina circuit.
The German was 0.281 quicker than team mate and triple champion Lewis Hamilton, who is hoping to take a 50th career pole position in later qualifying for Sunday`s day-to-night race.
Rosberg, overall runner-up for the second year in a row after winning the last two races, will be chasing his sixth successive pole.
Despite expressing doubts about his chances after having to use a high-mileage engine for the weekend, Rosberg was the only driver inside the one minute 42 mark with a best lap of 1:41.856.
Ferrari`s Sebastian Vettel was third fastest, ahead of Mexican Sergio Perez for Force India and Ferrari`s Kimi Raikkonen.
Red Bull`s Daniil Kvyat failed to complete a timed lap due to an electrical problem.