Unfazed by a back-of-the-grid start on Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas was the fastest man in first practice, edging out Verstappen and Hamilton by more than half a second.
The Finnish Mercedes driver is using a new internal combustion unit, new turbo and new MGU-H after an engine problem prevented him from finishing the Brazilian Grand Prix. This also means Bottas is to start from the back of the grid.
The Finn was still fastest, much in contrast to Sebastian Vettel's performance, as the Ferrari driver ended up crashing out of the session in Turn 19. Vettel recorded the 5th fastest time, before sliding rearwards into the barriers, two minutes before the end of the session. As the car was stuck with damage on the rear, the session was stopped early to safely clean the track.
Romain Grosjean ended up in 6th as he trialled a new set-up direction for Haas. His teammate Kevin Magnussen was also in the top 10 as they sandwished Charles Leclerc's Ferrari.
Nico Hulkenberg rounded off the top 10 in his provisionally last Formula One race of his career. His Australian Renault team mate was worse off, as his Renault engine blew up spectacularly after 12 laps. It left the Aussie 19th, in between the Williams of Kubica and Russell.
|1||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:36.957||-||23|
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:37.492||+0.535s||22|
|3||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:37.591||+0.634s||20|
|4||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:38.084||+1.127s||23|
|6||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:39.146||+2.189s||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|
|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 Räikkönen||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|
|20||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:41.362||+4.405s||24|