Man of the moment, Lotus
's Romain Grosjean
, set the pace in Yas Marina on Friday afternoon in an opening practice session in which track conditions never really evolved, meaning everyone struggled for grip on the medium Pirelli
looked to have things sewn up for Mercedes
with a lap of 1m 44.433s, when Grosjean banged in 1m 44.241s right at the end to go fastest by 0.192s.
The lack of grip meant that the times were very close. Right behind Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel
was third for Red Bull on 1m 44.499s, chased by team mate Mark Webber
on 1m 44.712s, Mercedes Nico Rosberg
on 1m 44.741s and the second Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen
on 1m 44.929s.
Paul di Resta
was seventh for Force India
on 1m 45.040s with Jenson Button
right behind for McLaren
on 1m 45.099s, ahead of Pastor Maldonado
on 1m 45.150s for Williams
, early pacesetter Sergio Perez
on 1m 45.331s in the second McLaren, Nico Hulkenberg
on 1m 45.378s, Fernando Alonso
on 1m 45.440s in the lead Ferrari
, Valtteri Bottas
on 1m 45.823s in the other Williams, and the continuingly impressive James Calado
who shadowed his old GP3 rival with 1m 45.924s in the second Force India.
Behind them, Esteban Gutierrez
took 15th for Sauber with 1m 46.068s ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne
in the lead Toro Rosso on 1m 46.114s, Felipe Massa
in the second Ferrari on 1m 46.124s and Daniel Ricciardo
in the other STR8 on 1m 46.126s.
headed Heikki Kovalainen in the Caterhams on 1m 47.600s and 1m 47.670s, with Jules Bianchi
on 1m 47.723s for Marussia
. His team mate for the session, reserve Rodolfo Gonzalez
, brought up the rear with 1m 49.565s. (Formula1.com)