Sebastian Vettel has posted the fastest time in the opening practice session for this weekend’s season finale at Abu Dhabi.
With so much riding on this weekend’s race, the major hitters spent much of the session – which incredibly started with a damp track surface after a very rare rain shower – testing newly updated parts in the opening 90-minute session.
But the drying track meant that many of the runners only opted to perform more meaningful running in the last half-hour of the session when the track conditions had improved.
And when the leading championship contenders finally ventured out on track, it was the Red Bull pairing of Vettel and Mark Webber, along with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, who proved to be the pace setters.
Vettel’s best effort – the only one to break below the 1m43s barrier – was some six-tenths faster than the second-quickest runner (Hamilton), while a late lap from Jenson Button vaulted him up to third on the timesheets.
MWebber wound up fourth-fastest, ahead of Renault’s Robert Kubica and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. Michael Schumacher, Kamui Kobayashi, Nico Rosberg and Nick Heidfeld completed the top-ten on the timing screens.
Despite the damp surface, there was just one spinner in the entire session, with Fairuz Fauzy doing the honours in his Lotus. The Malaysian driver (standing in for Heikki Kovalainen for this session) was well down on the pace in his latest outing.
2010 Abu Dhabi GP Practice 1 Session Times:
[Original image via Sutton Images]