He may have clinched the title at the last race in India, but Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel
showed no signs of taking his foot off the gas as he topped the timesheets in second practice in Abu Dhabi on Friday evening.
The German's quickest lap on soft tyres was just 0.155s quicker than team mate Mark Webber
's best effort, with Mercedes
' Lewis Hamilton
's Kimi Raikkonen
third and fourth fastest respectively.
After Sergio Perez
had started the ball rolling for McLaren
, Vettel took control early on using Pirelli
's medium tyres before Raikkonen moved ahead for Lotus as he switched to the softs. He was soon displaced by Hamilton before Webber and then Vettel moved to the fore.
In the end Vettel stopped the clocks in 1m 41.335s to Webber's 1m 41.490s. But Hamilton remained close on 1m 41.690s with Raikkonen fourth on 1m 41.726s to Nico Rosberg
's 1m 41.758s in the second Mercedes.
McLaren also looked more than respectable with Perez hanging on to sixth fastest time with 1m 42.006s and Jenson Button
backing him with 1m 42.010s. Fernando Alonso
was within striking distance of the silver cars with his Ferrari
on 1m 42.171s, then came Nico Hulkenberg
on 1m 42.324s for Sauber
ahead of Felipe Massa
on 1m 42.440s in the second Ferrari. Esteban Gutierrez
was right up with his Sauber team mate with 1m 42.509s.
First session pacesetter Romain Grosjean
was only 12th in the second Lotus after problems and the belief at one stage that 'something broke' on his E21. He lapped in 1m 42.607s.
Paul di Resta
was another to have similar problems, losing time with an off due to a damaged left-front tyre which left him 13th on 1m 42.806s ahead of Williams
' Pastor Maldonado
on 1m 42.952s. Adrian Sutil
was also in the wars, with three separate minor offs in his Force India
which he took to the 15th fastest time in 1m 42.998s.
had problems with his Toro Rosso and was 16th on 1m 43.152s and team mate Jean-Eric Vergne
followed with 1m 43.271s. Valtteri Bottas
was the final runner beneath 1m 44s, with 1m 43.565s in the second Williams.
Giedo van der Garde
had a spin exiting Turn 21, the final corner, but cut his Caterham down to 1m 44.138s to lead the tailenders; Marussia
's Jules Bianchi
was next on 1m 44.459s from Charles Pic
on 1m 44.525s, with Max Chilton
surviving the loss of a brake duct on his Marussia and a later spin to lap in 1m 45.565s. (Formula1.com)