Bottas over Verstappen in Abu Dhabi practice 1

Vettel hits the barrier with his left rear causing damage to the fragile Ferrari
Vettel hits the barrier with his left rear causing damage to the fragile Ferrari

The track was still dusty and the sun was still heating the track, so the times are meaningless, but Valtteri Bottas put his new Mercedes engine to good use and turned the fastest lap of 1m36.957s in opening practice for the Abu Dhabi GP.

Max Verstappen was 2nd quick 0.535s back in his Red Bull Honda and Lewis Hamilton third in the 2nd Mercedes 0.634s in arrears.

Alex Albon was 4th quick in the 2nd Red Bull while Sebastian Vettel, who spun into the barriers to end the session early, rounded out the top-5.

It was a relatively simple error – the German was on the racing line into Turn 19, and as he exited he just lost control of the rear. With no run off area there, he touched the barriers with the rear of the car.

Romain Grosjean was using a new, simulator-developed set-up on his Haas VF-19, and it seemed to work well, as he ended up P6, ahead of the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. Grosjean’s team mate Magnussen was P8, heading the Alfa Romeo of Antonio Giovinazzi and the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg, who’s having his last outing for the team this weekend.

Daniel Ricciardo lost an engine in his Renault but should be back out in Session 2. Meanwhile, Bottas was lucky to survive a slip on Ricciardo’s oil, collecting a wild moment that sent him skating onto the final corner run-off.

Practice 1 Results

1 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:36.957 +0.000s 23
2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 1:37.492 +0.535s 22
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.591 +0.634s 20
4 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing Honda 1:38.084 +1.127s 23
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:38.906 +1.949s 19
6 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:39.146 +2.189s 18
7 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:39.249 +2.292s 18
8 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:39.350 +2.393s 19
9 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:39.423 +2.466s 20
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:39.505 +2.548s 22
11 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:39.628 +2.671s 18
12 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point Bwt Mercedes 1:39.864 +2.907s 23
13 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:39.888 +2.931s 17
14 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point Bwt Mercedes 1:39.901 +2.944s 17
15 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:39.969 +3.012s 20
16 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:40.401 +3.444s 17
17 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 1:40.687 +3.730s 23
18 88 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes 1:40.792 +3.835s 21
19 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:40.850 +3.893s 12
20 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:41.362 +4.405s 24

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