Abu Dhabi GP: Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 in FP1

Max Verstappen used hypersoft tyres to lead a Red Bull one-two in opening practice for the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Abu Dhabi GP: Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 in FP1

Verstappen enjoyed a comfortable advantage over teammate Daniel Ricciardo to top the FP1 times by almost half a second.

The Dutchman burst clear in the second half of the session on a 1m38.491s that left him 0.454s clear of Ricciardo, while Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas was the only other driver to lap within a second of Verstappen.

Red Bull's one-two was earned as the team completed two sets of fresh hypersoft runs, while Mercedes and Ferrari switched from the softest-available compound to the hardest for the second half of the session.

Bottas used supersofts to lap 0.961s slower than Verstappen, but outpaced world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton but less than a tenth.

Hamilton made a modest improvement on ultrasofts, having led the running early on using hypersofts.

While the Mercedes drivers were able to make gains on the hardest of the three Pirelli compounds in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari did not improve.

That allowed Esteban Ocon to steal into fifth place for Racing Point Force India and Kevin Magnussen to take sixth for Haas.

Ocon was 1.6s off the pace, just over a tenth quicker than Magnussen, with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel relegated to seventh and eighth.

Their early hypersoft efforts stood as their best times despite completing laps on supersofts that were not part of a long run.

Renault's Carlos Sainz and the second Haas of Romain Grosjean completed the top 10.

The 90-minute session passed with minimal drama, although Marcus Ericsson caused yellow flags with a half-spin his Sauber exiting Turn 1 early on and slid nose-first into the inside barrier.

Newly-confirmed 2019 Williams race driver and F1 returnee Robert Kubica completed the 20 runners, standing in for the driver he will replace full-time next year Sergey Sirotkin.

Kubica lapped 4.5s off the pace, 1.5s slower than Lance Stroll, but had already made clear on Thursday he would not be pursuing lap times in FP1 and would instead complete evaluation work for next season.

Cla Driver Chassis Engine Laps Time Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 27 1'38.491  
2 Australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 19 1'38.945 0.454
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 29 1'39.452 0.961
4 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 26 1'39.543 1.052
5 France Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes 26 1'40.102 1.611
6 Denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 21 1'40.235 1.744
7 Finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 24 1'40.417 1.926
8 Germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 21 1'40.453 1.962
9 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.  Renault Renault 21 1'40.588 2.097
10 France Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari 24 1'40.663 2.172
11 France Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso Honda 17 1'40.671 2.180
12 Germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault 24 1'41.023 2.532
13 Mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 23 1'41.075 2.584
14 New Zealand Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso Honda 26 1'41.137 2.646
15 Canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 22 1'41.493 3.002
16 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi  Sauber Ferrari 24 1'41.662 3.171
17 Sweden Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari 22 1'41.928 3.437
18 Belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Renault 22 1'42.114 3.623
19 Spain Fernando Alonso  McLaren Renault 16 1'42.313 3.822
20 Poland Robert Kubica  Williams Mercedes 26 1'42.992 4.501

 

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