Lewis Hamilton has finished the first practice session in Abu Dhabi ahead of championship rival and team-mate Nico Rosberg.

The Mercedes duo was a staggering 1.7 seconds ahead of next best finisher, Fernando Alonso in third. Despite being a contender to the Mercedes outfit, Williams had a dreadful start to the weekend as both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas experienced some of their bodywork detaching from their cars; the duo only ran seven and eight laps in the session respectively.

Red Bull Racing ended practice high up the order with Sebastian Vettel in fourth and Daniel Ricciardo a fraction behind in fifth position. The pair were closely followed by both drivers from Red Bull’s sister team, Scuderia Toro Rosso. Just over one-tenth of a second separated Jean-Éric Vergne in sixth and Daniil Kvyat in seventh.

Jenson Button only managed to complete eight laps after his McLaren encountered a mechanical problem. His team-mate Kevin Magnussen finished just outside the top-ten.

Will Stevens made his Formula 1 debut for Caterham, however his session stalled early on as he had mechanical issues after his installation lap. The team finally resolved the issue with 15 minutes left to run which allowed Stevens to complete a total of 14 laps.

2014 Formula 3 champion Esteban Ocon stepped in for Romain Grosjean during FP1 and made a strong impression on the team. Completing two laps less than Pastor Maldonado in the other Lotus, the 18-year-old finished the session three-tenths of a second off the Venezuelan’s best time. Ocon will drive for the team in next week’s season-ending test session.

The other new driver to make an appearance in FP1 was GP3 driver Adderly Fong, who stood in for Adrian Sutil in the Sauber. Fong didn’t fare as well as Ocon, finishing the session second-slowest and over 1.5 seconds off Esteban Gutiérrez in the other Sauber.

2014 Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Results:

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:43.476 32
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:43.609 + 0.133 31
3. Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:45.184 + 1.708 22
4. Sebastian Vettel Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:45.334 + 1.858 30
5. Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:45.361 + 1.885 23
6. Jean-Éric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:45.718 + 2.242 17
7. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:45.835 + 2.359 32
8. Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:45.913 + 2.437 8
9. Sergio Pérez Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:45.983 + 2.507 23
10. Nico Hülkenberg Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:46.030 + 2.554 24
11. Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:46.049 + 2.573 23
12. Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:46.131 + 2.655 23
13. Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:46.549 + 3.073 7
14. Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:46.556 + 3.080 28
15. Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:46.711 + 3.235 31
16. Esteban Ocon Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:47.066 + 3.590 29
17. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:47.235 + 3.759 8
18. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:47.971 + 4.495 24
19. Adderly Fong Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:48.269 + 4.793 25
20. Will Stevens Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:50.684 + 7.208 14

Image via XPB Images

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