Just a few days after securing their first win in 2022, Mercedes continued to dominate proceedings by topping the opening practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton edging George Russell on the Yas Marina circuit.
With the current season approaching its conclusion, several outfits still needed to give their junior drivers the opportunity of driving in the opening practice as per the new regulation for 2022 that obliges teams to mandate 'young' drivers in FP1s twice a year.
The session took place in hot conditions in which Lewis Hamilton headed a Mercedes 1-2, setting a benchmark of a 1m26.633s on Pirelli’s soft compound and beating his teammate George Russell by just over two tenths of a second.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc ended the session third fastest while the Italian outfit’s junior Robert Swartzman was seventh-quickest as he deputised for Carlos Sainz.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez set his benchmark of 1m26.967s quite early in the session with his effort putting the Mexican driver in P4. The Milton Keynes based squad gave F2 race winner Liam Lawson a run in Max Verstappen’s title-winning car with the New Zealander ending up directly behind Perez in P5.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo finished in P8 thanks to a late flying lap on the red-walled compound. McLaren’s Lando Norris handed his car over to IndyCar star Pato O’Ward, who made his F1 race weekend debut following several tests with the team earlier in the year. The Mexican driver had some issues at the beginning of the session, but he was able to roll out again for a run to set the 18th quickest lap time.
Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas managed a P9 in the opening practice. His team mate Zhou Guanyu was forced to sit out the session as his car was piloted by Robert Kubica, who finished the session in P14.
Sebastian Vettel, who started his farewell F1 weekend, set the sixth best lap time. In the other Aston Martin car was reigning F2 champion Felipe Drugovich, who ended the session in P20, but he could be satisfied with his debut session as he managed to log in 23 laps.
|4||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Rbpt||1:26.967||+0.334s||22|
|5||36||Liam Lawson||Red Bull Racing Rbpt||1:27.201||+0.568s||22|
|6||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:27.268||+0.635s||19|
|8||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Mclaren Mercedes||1:27.619||+0.986s||20|
|9||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:27.655||+1.022s||22|
|10||23||Alexander Albon||Williams Mercedes||1:27.840||+1.207s||25|
|11||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Rbpt||1:27.845||+1.212s||27|
|12||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:27.891||+1.258s||27|
|13||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Rbpt||1:27.991||+1.358s||27|
|14||88||Robert Kubica||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:28.064||+1.431s||22|
|15||45||Logan Sargeant||Williams Mercedes||1:28.098||+1.465s||23|
|16||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:28.142||+1.509s||19|
|17||51||Pietro Fittipaldi||Haas Ferrari||1:28.204||+1.571s||25|
|18||28||Patricio O'Ward||Mclaren Mercedes||1:28.350||+1.717s||22|
|19||82||Jack Doohan||Alpine Renault||1:28.484||+1.851s||24|
|20||34||Felipe Drugovich||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:28.672||+2.039s||23|