Max second quickest in Abu Dhabi opening practice

Published on 29 November 2019 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen kicked of the final Grand Prix weekend of the 2019 Formula 1 season with a second place in the opening practice session. Only Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas was quicker lapping the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The other Silver Arrow, driven by Lewis Hamilton, completed the top three.

As the first practice session is not representative for the remainder of the weekend, it is the only session in daylight, the drivers take their time before clocking a lap. After the usual flurry of installation laps, it is ten minutes before the first times are set.

Max banks his first effort twenty minutes in, resulting in P2. After dropping to fourth, Max retaliates with several quick laps. After forty minutes, when the first set of tyres is returned to Pirelli, Max is second again, behind Hamilton.

When Max hits the track in the second half of FP1, he straightaway improves his lap time on a brand new set of soft tyres. The Dutchman clocks his fastest time of the morning, splitting the two Mercedes. However, this time, Bottas is quickest ahead of Hamilton.

With half an hour to go, Daniel Ricciardo causes a red flag. The Aussie’s power-unit emits a lot of smoke, resulting in a stranded Renault. Fifteen minutes later, the track is clear and the session resumes for the remaining quarter of an hour in which the lap times are not bettered.

In the closing stages, Sebastian Vettel parks his Ferrari into the barriers, causing the final red flag and an end to FP1.

Abu Dhabi GP contest: win a Red Bull Racing team backpack

Results first free practice Abu-dhabi:

1Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:36.957 23
2Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:37.492+0.535s22
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:37.591+0.634s20
4Alexander AlbonALBRed Bull Racing Honda1:38.084+1.127s23
5Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:38.906+1.949s19
6Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:39.146+2.189s18
7Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:39.249+2.292s18
8Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:39.350+2.393s19
9Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:39.423+2.466s20
10Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:39.505+2.548s22
11Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:39.628+2.671s18
12Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:39.864+2.907s23
13Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:39.888+2.931s17
14Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:39.901+2.944s17
15Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:39.969+3.012s20
16Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:40.401+3.444s17
17Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:40.687+3.730s23
18Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:40.792+3.835s21
19Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:40.850+3.893s12
20George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:41.362+4.405s24