Lewis Hamilton has opened the final race of the 2015 season on top after clearing Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg’s time by over a tenth of a second.
Rosberg had set the pace in the first half of the session posting a 1:44.102, which Hamilton was quick to beat by a tenth of a second. Rosberg swiftly re-took his top spot on his twelfth lap with a 1:43.895, 0.1 seconds faster than Hamilton.
Kimi Räikkönen kicked off his weekend without a hitch posting the third fastest time in the Ferrari, although he was quite some time behind Hamilton’s benchmark as he trailed the fastest time by 0.746 seconds.
Both Force India drivers managed to finish the session in the top ten, with Nico Hülkenberg finishing in sixth position, two places higher than his teammate Sergio Pérez. The pair had been running in third and fourth position in the early stages of the session, as well as topping the speed trap as Hülkenberg was clocked at 330km/h.
There was a lull of over five minutes in the session after the first half an hour, as the drivers had to return the set of extra tyres that are permitted to run in this first 30 minutes of FP1.
Fernando Alonso broke the silence and took to the track and was the sole driver out on the circuit in his McLaren-Honda. He posted his first timed lap which put him in the top ten in ninth position. The Spaniard then improved on his time by eight-tenths of a second which elevated him to seventh position.
Daniel Ricciardo slotted his Red Bull into fourth with 35 minutes remaining in the practice session, although he was soon displaced him his teammate Daniil Kvyat, who went two tenths of a second quicker and within a second of the Mercedes.
Jolyon Palmer was the only reserve driver in the field replacing Romain Grosjean in the Lotus. His session didn’t go as planned however, as a water leak sidelined the 2014 GP2 Series champion for most of the session. The Englishman was later able to make it out to the track and complete nine laps.
|2015 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:43.754||28|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:43.895||+ 0.141||32|
|3.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:44.500||+ 0.746||27|
|4.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:44.702||+ 0.948||23|
|5.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:44.742||+ 0.988||23|
|6.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B||1:44.751||+ 0.997||22|
|7.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:44.893||+ 1.139||26|
|8.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B||1:44.934||+ 1.180||27|
|9.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:45.314||+ 1.560||29|
|10.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:45.433||+ 1.679||20|
|11.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:45.603||+ 1.849||22|
|12.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:45.718||+ 1.964||32|
|13.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:45.773||+ 2.019||15|
|14.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:45.865||+ 2.111||20|
|15.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:46.115||+ 2.361||20|
|16.||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:46.220||+ 2.466||21|
|17.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:46.407||+ 2.653||29|
|18.||Jolyon Palmer||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:46.501||+ 2.747||9|
|19.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B||1:48.836||+ 5.082||19|
|20.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B||1:49.888||+ 6.134||20|
Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team