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FP1: Bottas 0.5s ahead, Vettel hits the wall

  • Published on 29 Nov 2019 11:31
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Valtteri Bottas has ended the opening practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend on top of the timesheets, setting a 1:36.957.

The session ended under a red flag as Sebastian Vettel hit the barrier at the exit of Turn 14, losing the rear as he turned in and breaking his left rear suspension.

It marked the second red flag of the session as Daniel Ricciardo was forced to pull over as he rounded the final corner due to an engine failure. 

Renault has since confirmed that the engine that gave up on the Australian was a Friday power unit, and no penalties are expected for Sunday's race.

Bottas' fastest lap was set on the medium compound tyre, while Max Verstappen, who was half a second down on the Finn, completed his best time on the soft compound.

However, with qualifying and the race to be held in much cooler temperatures due to the later time in the day, the session is quite unrepresentative for the teams.

Lewis Hamilton was third in the second Mercedes, posting a time that was over six-tenths down on his teammate. 

Fourth saw Alexander Albon, who arrives in the Middle-East looking for redempetion following his missed podium in Brazil two weeks ago.

Vettel's time was enough to see him claim fifth in the timesheets. The German was a late arrival to the Yas Marina Circuit this weekend, as he attended the birth of his third child. 

Behind Vettel came Romain Grosjean, who sneaked ahead of Charles Leclerc for sixth place by one-tenth of a second.

Despite it only being FP1 and in unrepresentative conditions, Haas will be encouraged by its early pace, as Kevin Magnussen was eighth in the second car.

Following Magnussen was Antonio Giovinazzi, while Nico Hulkenberg, who is starting his last race for Renault this weekend, rounded out the top ten.

George Russell rounded out the timesheet, but Williams is monitoring his situation this weekend, as he is feeling ill ahead of the final race of the season.

F1Grand Prix United Arab Emirates - Free practice 1

AE Yas Marina Circuit - 29 November 2019

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