Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2012

McLaren on top in first practice at Abu Dhabi

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix first practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2012McLaren set the pace around the Yas Marina circuit as practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix began.

Lewis Hamilton ended the first session three-quarters of a second faster than the next driver in a different car. Jenson Button moved within a third of a second of his team mate’s time with his final effort.

The session got off to a very quiet start with Max Chilton and Ma Qing Hua doing a few slow laps as they tested engine settings. Jean-Eric Vergne was the only other driver to set a time in the first half-hour.

The Williams pair were next to lead the times but once Hamilton hit the top he was never headed. He repeatedly improved his effort, ending up on a 1’43.285.

However his time was over three seconds off the best time seen in first practice last year. A series of higher kerbs have been installed at several corners on the track since then, and the session was saw track temperatures of up to 47C.

Sebastian Vettel was third-quickest ahead of championship rival Fernando Alonso, who split the two Red Bulls.

Michael Schumacher was sixth after a couple of off-track moments, including one which came after he briefly held up Timo Glock’s Marussia.

The Williams pair of Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas both featured in the top ten with Kimi Raikkonen tenth for Lotus.

Chilton was at the wheel of the second Marussia as he made his first appearance in an official F1 session. He ended up 22nd ahead of Ma Qing Hua, who returned for HRT, and Giedo van der Garde, who did not set a time after reporting an unusual noise on his car during his first run.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’43.285 21
2 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’43.618 0.333 19
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’44.050 0.765 23
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’44.366 1.081 21
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’44.542 1.257 22
6 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’44.694 1.409 23
7 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’45.115 1.830 26
8 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’45.194 1.909 19
9 19 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’45.347 2.062 25
10 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’45.422 2.137 15
11 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’45.567 2.282 24
12 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’45.587 2.302 20
13 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’45.722 2.437 20
14 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’45.743 2.458 20
15 11 Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1’45.769 2.484 22
16 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’45.811 2.526 22
17 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’46.649 3.364 24
18 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’46.708 3.423 26
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’47.418 4.133 23
20 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’47.891 4.606 21
21 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’48.354 5.069 22
22 25 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’48.887 5.602 22
23 23 Ma Qing Hua HRT-Cosworth 1’50.487 7.202 20
24 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault No time 7.202 3

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei