Abu Dhabi GP: Hamilton outpaces Rosberg in FP1

Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg to the quickest time in the opening practice session for the F1 finale in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi GP: Hamilton outpaces Rosberg in FP1
Red Bull Racing RB11 being built in the pits
Williams FW37 being built in the pits
Lotus F1 Team pit garages
Lotus F1 Team team in the paddock
Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Jenson Button, McLaren Honda
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 with the fans
Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull Racing
Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull Racing RB11

In an uneventful 90 minutes of running, Hamilton posted a best time of 1:43.754 to outpace Rosberg by 0.141 seconds as the Mercedes duo dominated the session.

Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest in the Ferrari, but over seven tenths behind Hamilton.

Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Force India's Nico Hulkenberg were the only other two drivers within a second of the world champion's time.

Daniel Ricciardo finished in seventh place in the second Red Bull, ahead of Sergio Perez in the second Force India.

Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) and Williams driver Felipe Massa completed the top 10 runners.

The start of the session saw several teams attaching all kinds of sensors to their cars, with Ferrari going one step further and fitting what looked like laser sensors at the bottom of Raikkonen's SF15-T.

Rosberg was the first man to appear in the timesheets over 10 minutes after the start, as most drivers spent the early part of the session doing aero testing.

With the track very dirty, the times improved quickly and Rosberg established himself on top with a lap of 1:44.102 before Hamilton beat that over 23 minutes into the session with the first lap in the 1:43s.

But Rosberg improved once more - to a 1:43.895 - before the half-hour mark to regain P1 before the action stopped.

Hamilton returned to first place with 31 minutes left on the clock, setting a new best of 1:43.754 that would remain unbeaten. 

Red Bull drivers Ricciardo and Kvyat, Vettel and Sauber's Felipe Nasr did not set a time in the first half the session, while Jolyon Palmer did not take to the track until the final minutes.

Scheduled to replace Romain Grosjean in the Lotus, Palmer could only run in the dying minutes as his car was not ready in time following yesterday's delays.

The Briton finished in 18th after a late spin, outpacing the Manors of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi, returning to the cockpit to replace Alexander Rossi.

PosDriverTeamTimeGapLaps
1 Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes 1:43.754   27
2 Nico Rosberg  Mercedes 1:43.895 +0.141 31
3 Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari 1:44.500 +0.746 26
4 Daniil Kvyat  Red Bull Racing 1:44.702 +0.948 23
5 Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari 1:44.742 +0.988 22
6 Nico Hulkenberg  Force India 1:44.751 +0.997 22
7 Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull Racing 1:44.893 +1.139 25
8 Sergio Perez  Force India 1:44.934 +1.180 27
9 Pastor Maldonado  Lotus F1 Team 1:45.314 +1.560 28
10 Felipe Massa  Williams 1:45.433 +1.679 19
11 Valtteri Bottas  Williams 1:45.603 +1.849 22
12 Max Verstappen  Toro Rosso 1:45.718 +1.964 32
13 Jenson Button  McLaren 1:45.773 +2.019 15
14 Fernando Alonso  McLaren 1:45.865 +2.111 20
15 Felipe Nasr  Sauber 1:46.115 +2.361 20
16 Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso 1:46.220 +2.466 21
17 Marcus Ericsson  Sauber 1:46.407 +2.653 28
18 Jolyon Palmer  Lotus F1 Team 1:46.501 +2.747 8
19 Will Stevens  Manor 1:48.836 +5.082 19
20 Roberto Merhi  Manor 1:49.888 +6.134 20

 

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