McLaren has claimed a 1-2 in Friday’s opening practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button finishing up comfortably quickest of the field at the Yas Marina circuit.
Championship leader Sebastian Vettel ended up third-fastest, with his chief championship rival Fernando Alonso just behind in fourth place.
No less than five reserve drivers took part in the ninety-minute session, with Williams’ perennial ‘Man Friday’, Valtteri Bottas, emerging comfortably quickest, while Jules Bianchi (Force India), Giedo van der Garde (Caterham) and Qing Hua Ma (HRT) also having further outings for their respective teams.
Making his Grand Prix debut this weekend was British driver Max Chilton in the Marussia. The Surrey-born driver took over Charles Pic’s car for the session, working through a series of programs for the Sheffield-based team before he hands over the car for the evening’s activities.
Van der Garde, meanwhile, had a disappointing session. The Dutch GP2 driver was sidelined after just three tours of the five-kilometre circuit when his Caterham suffered an engine failure.
Hamilton’s session-topping effort came with a little under half an hour to run in the session, while Button closed to within one-third of a second of his team-mate on his final flying lap of the session.
Behind the top-four came Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher, closely followed by Pastor Maldonado, Nico Rosberg, and the Finnish pairing of Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, who lost some running in the session when he was hit by a puncture.
The session saw little in the way of incident, although Sergio Perez had a major scare when he attempted a full-speed pit entry arrival, only to suffer a huge slide as he slewed towards the pit wall. Fortunately he managed to avoid any contact, and continued on another tour of the circuit without any further drama in his Sauber.
2012 Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:43.285||21|
|2.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:43.618||+ 0.333||19|
|3.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:44.050||+ 0.765||23|
|4.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:44.366||+ 1.081||21|
|5.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:44.542||+ 1.257||22|
|6.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:44.694||+ 1.409||23|
|7.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW34||1:45.115||+ 1.830||26|
|8.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:45.194||+ 1.909||19|
|9.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Renault FW34||1:45.347||+ 2.062||25|
|10.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:45.422||+ 2.137||15|
|11.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:45.567||+ 2.282||24|
|12.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:45.587||+ 2.302||20|
|13.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:45.722||+ 2.437||20|
|14.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:45.743||+ 2.458||20|
|15.||Jules Bianchi||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:45.769||+ 2.484||22|
|16.||Sergio Pérez||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:45.811||+ 2.526||22|
|17.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:46.649||+ 3.364||24|
|18.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:46.708||+ 3.423||26|
|19.||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham Renault CT01||1:47.418||+ 4.133||23|
|20.||Timo Glock||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:47.891||+ 4.606||21|
|21.||Pedro de la Rosa||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:48.354||+ 5.069||22|
|22.||Max Chilton||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:48.887||+ 5.602||22|
|23.||Qing Hua Ma||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:50.487||+ 7.202||20|
|24.||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham Renault CT01||no time||3|
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