Sebastian Vettel kept up the momentum from his win in Brazil two weeks ago as the Ferrari driver was fastest in first practice for Sunday’s Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The German, who has already been beaten to the world title for 2017 by Mercedes-GP’s Lewis Hamilton, topped the times with a lap of 1 minute, 39.006 seconds around the 5.5km Yas Marina Circuit.
Hamilton, who like Vettel is a three-time winner in Abu Dhabi going into the weekend, was 0.120 seconds slower, with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen completing the top three.
Kimi Raikkonen, the 2012 winner in Abu Dhabi, was fourth in his Ferrari, ahead of the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas, with the Force India of Sergio Perez completing the top six.
Conditions in the summer sun proved treacherous for some, with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and the Haas of Romain Grosjean among those to spin.
Second practice, which also lasts for 90 minutes, starts at 5pm.
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