Sebastian Vettel leads Hamilton in first Abu Dhabi practice
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP1

Sebastian Vettel leads Hamilton in first Abu Dhabi practice

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel set the pace in opening practice for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday with Lewis Hamilton second fastest for Formula One champions Mercedes.

The opening session, in the afternoon heat, is largely unrepresentative of the rest of the weekend with Sunday's race starting in the evening and ending after dark and under floodlights.

Vettel, second in a championship already won by Hamilton two races ago, lapped the Yas Marina layout with a best time of one minute 39.006 seconds on ultrasoft tyres. Hamilton's best was a 1:39.126.

Both Hamilton and Vettel are three times winners in Abu Dhabi, although Ferrari have yet to triumph there.

Red Bull's 20-year-old Dutch driver Max Verstappen was a mere 0.28 slower than Hamilton, fuelling hopes that the finale could be a three-way battle at least, and ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton is chasing his 10th win of the season while Vettel, winner in Brazil two weeks ago, is aiming to end the year with a sixth success.

British youngster George Russell, taking part in first practice only, was 11th fastest in Esteban Ocon's Force India and less than a second off the pace of the team's Mexican driver Sergio Perez.

Russell also took part in first practice in Brazil, and looks set for a reserve role in future.

With both championships wrapped up, Mercedes having clinched their fourth successive constructors' title in Texas last month, most teams used the session as an early test for 2018.

Some also tried out the 'halo' head protection device that will be introduced next year.

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13/12/2018
01:05 | Detroit Pistons vs Charlotte Hornets
01:05 | New York Knicks vs Cleveland Cavaliers
01:05 | Milwaukee Bucks vs Indiana Pacers
01:05 | Brooklyn Nets vs Philadelphia 76ers
01:05 | Boston Celtics vs Washington Wizards
02:05 | Portland Trail Blazers vs Memphis Grizzlies
02:05 | Oklahoma City Thunder vs New Orleans Pelicans
02:35 | Atlanta Hawks vs Dallas Mavericks
03:05 | Miami Heat vs Utah Jazz
04:05 | Minnesota Timberwolves vs Sacramento Kings
04:35 | Toronto Raptors vs Golden State Warriors
18:55 | Villarreal - Spartak Moskva
18:55 | Sevilla - Krasnodar
18:55 | Olympique Marseille - Apollon
18:55 | Lazio - Eintracht Frankfurt
18:55 | Vidi - Chelsea
21:00 | AEK Larnaca - Bayer Leverkusen
21:00 | Celtic - Salzburg
21:00 | Arsenal - Qarabag
21:00 | Olympiakos Piraeus - Milan
14/12/2018
02:05 | Los Angeles Lakers vs Houston Rockets
02:35 | LA Clippers vs San Antonio Spurs
03:35 | Chicago Bulls vs Orlando Magic
04:35 | Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns
15/12/2018
13:30 | Manchester City - Everton
15:30 | Hannover 96 - Bayern Munich
16:00 | Tottenham Hotspur - Burnley
16:15 | Real Valladolid - Atletico Madrid
17:00 | Dijon - PSG
18:00 | Inter Milan - Udinese
18:30 | Real Madrid - Rayo Vallecano
18:30 | Borussia Dortmund - Werder Bremen
20:30 | Torino - Juventus
16/12/2018
12:00 | Sevilla - Girona
13:00 | Olympique Lyon - Monaco
14:30 | Brighton - Chelsea
14:30 | Southampton - Arsenal
17:00 | Liverpool - Manchester United
18:00 | Cagliari - Napoli
20:30 | Roma - Genoa
20:45 | Levante - Barcelona
21:00 | Olympique Marseille - Bordeaux
DERBY OF THE WEEK
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Derby of the week
20:45
31/12/2018
Derby of the week
W -    
   W -
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
- and are subject to change
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