Sebastian Vettel has posted the fastest time in the opening practice session for this weekend’s season finale at Abu Dhabi.

Vettel was quickest in the opening practice session 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:

  Driver   Team Time Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault 1:42.760 18
2. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes + 0.609 16
3. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes + 1.025 19
4. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Renault + 1.080 19
5. Robert Kubica POL Renault + 1.320 17
6. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari + 1.361 19
7. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes GP + 1.439 18
8. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari + 1.844 19
9. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP + 1.958 19
10. Nick Heidfeld DEU Sauber Ferrari + 1.977 19
11. Felipe Massa BRA Ferrari + 2.400 18
12. Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault + 2.685 21
13. Rubens Barrichello BRA Williams Cosworth + 2.714 15
14. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes + 2.792 20
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi ITA Force India Mercedes + 2.825 14
16. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari + 3.243 20
17. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Williams Cosworth + 3.884 19
18. Sébastien Buemi SUI Toro Rosso Ferrari + 4.345 22
19. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth + 5.690 19
20. Jarno Trulli ITA Lotus Cosworth + 5.712 17
21. Lucas di Grassi BRA Virgin Racing Cosworth + 6.615 13
22. Bruno Senna BRA HRT Cosworth + 6.680 18
23. Christian Klien AUT HRT Cosworth + 7.514 17
24. Fairuz Fauzy MAS Lotus Cosworth + 8.945 18

[Original image via Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.
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