Lewis Hamilton tops Abu Dhabi first practice

By Andrew BensonChief F1 writer at Yas Marina
Abu Dhabi GP: Lewis Hamilton fastest in practice one
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Venue: Yas Marina Circuit Dates: 27-29 November
Coverage: Live BBC TV, radio and text coverage of the race. Full details here.

Lewis Hamilton pipped Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to fastest in first practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The world champion was 0.141 seconds ahead of Rosberg, the pair well clear of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in third.

Raikkonen was 0.746 seconds behind and 0.202secs ahead of Red Bull's fourth-placed Daniil Kvyat, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel fifth.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were sixth and eighth, split by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

McLaren's Jenson Button was 13th, one place and 0.092secs ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso.

Lotus reserve driver Jolyon Palmer, who is being promoted to a race seat in 2016, was unable to run until the final 12 minutes of the session as his team fixed a water leak in his car. The Englishman ended up 18th fastest, after a quick and harmless spin at Turn 18.

Jolyon Palmer
Lotus reserve driver Jolyon Palmer suffered a spin on the exit of Turn 18

On a warm, sunny day, with more clouds in the sky than are normal in Abu Dhabi and the occasional patch of shade on the circuit, it was a largely uneventful session, befitting the fact much of the focus of the weekend is off-track rather than on it.

The championships are settled, to the extent that the top three in the drivers' title race cannot change and nor can the top five in the constructors' table.

The one area of title-related interest is whether Williams driver Valtteri Bottas can hang on to fourth place behind Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel and ahead of Raikkonen.

The Finn has said that whatever happens is "not going to change our world", but Bottas has admitted that: "It doesn't matter if it's Kimi or anyone else, but it would be nice to be ahead of one quicker car in the championship.'"

Off track, there are question marks about the future of various teams.

Archive: Lewis Hamilton wins second drivers' title in Abu Dhabi

Red Bull have still not confirmed their engine supplier for next season, although team boss Christian Horner has said that a deal has been agreed.

This is known to be that they will continue with current supplier Renault, with whom the team were planning to split two months ago, but doubts remain over the French company's future in the sport.

Renault's expected takeover of the Lotus team has still not been announced, although the team is working back at its Oxfordshire base as if it is a de facto done deal.

But insiders say it is being held up by a dispute over prize money with F1 commercial boss Bernie Ecclestone, which has been ongoing for some time.

Full practice results

Abu Dhabi GP coverage details

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