Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice: Max Verstappen tops Red Bull one-two

Max Verstappen used hypersoft tyres to lead a Red Bull one-two in opening practice for the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice: Max Verstappen tops Red Bull one-two

Verstappen enjoyed a comfortable advantage over team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to top the practice one times by almost half a second.

The Dutchman burst clear in the second half of the session on a 1m38.491s that left him 0.454s clear of Ricciardo, while Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas was the only other driver to lap within a second of Verstappen.

Red Bull's one-two was earned as the team completed two sets of fresh hypersoft runs, while Mercedes and Ferrari switched from the softest-available compound to the hardest for the second half of the session.

Bottas used supersofts to lap 0.961s slower than Verstappen, but outpaced world champion team-mate Lewis Hamilton by under a tenth.

Hamilton made a modest improvement on ultrasofts, having led the running early on using hypersofts.

While the Mercedes drivers were able to make gains on the hardest of the three Pirelli compounds in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari did not improve.

That allowed Esteban Ocon to steal into fifth place for Racing Point Force India and Kevin Magnussen to take sixth for Haas.

Ocon was 1.6s off the pace, just over a tenth quicker than Magnussen, with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel relegated to seventh and eighth.

Their early hypersoft efforts stood as their best times despite the Ferraris conducting laps on supersofts that were not part of a long run.

Renault's Carlos Sainz Jr and the second Haas of Romain Grosjean completed the top 10.

The 90-minute session passed with minimal drama, although Marcus Ericsson caused yellow flags with a half-spin in his Sauber exiting Turn 1 early on and slid nose-first into the inside barrier.

Newly-confirmed 2019 Williams race driver and F1 returnee Robert Kubica completed the 20 runners, standing in for the driver he will replace full-time next year Sergey Sirotkin.

Kubica lapped 4.5s off the pace, 1.5s slower than Lance Stroll, but had already made clear on Thursday he would not be pursuing lap times in practice and would instead complete evaluation work for next season.

FP1 times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m38.491s - 27
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m38.945s 0.454s 19
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m39.452s 0.961s 29
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m39.543s 1.052s 26
5 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m40.102s 1.611s 26
6 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m40.235s 1.744s 21
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m40.417s 1.926s 24
8 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m40.453s 1.962s 21
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 1m40.588s 2.097s 21
10 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m40.663s 2.172s 24
11 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m40.671s 2.180s 17
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m41.023s 2.532s 24
13 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m41.075s 2.584s 23
14 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m41.137s 2.646s 26
15 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m41.493s 3.002s 22
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.662s 3.171s 24
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m41.928s 3.437s 22
18 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m42.114s 3.623s 22
19 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m42.313s 3.822s 16
20 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 1m42.992s 4.501s 26


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About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Max Verstappen
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Scott Mitchell
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