Formula 1

Bottas leads disrupted first practice session in Abu Dhabi

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

The final practice session of the decade saw Valtteri Bottas top the times at the Yas Marina Circuit with a lap of 1:36.957 ahead of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who faced technical issues.

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat lead the way as the lights turned green, heading out on to the circuit on the soft compound Pirelli tyres, followed closely by Williams Racing’s Robert Kubica.

The teams and drivers carried out their usual Friday morning test duties throughout the session as Bottas led the way with his brand new Mercedes M10 EQ Power+ engine fitted for this weekend, signalling an increase in power for the Finn.

There were issues for the 2019 World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who for this session was running the #1 on his car for the start of the session. Half hour into the free practice session he was forced to return to the pits on low power, reporting over the radio that the Mercedes-AMG Motorsport F1 W10 EQ Power+ had gone into limp-home mode.

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Hamilton would return to track later in the session after some time in the pits, minus the #1, reverting to his usual #44, maybe in a bid to bring him some luck in the final race weekend of the season.

With half hour of the session remaining, Daniel Ricciardo’s R.S. 19 came to a halt with flames pouring out of the back of the car. Thankfully for the Australian, the team confirmed that he was running a ‘Friday’ engine and not the engine that they plan to use on race day.

Sebastian Vettel’s weekend also got off to bad start too as he ended the session in the barriers after spinning out of Turn 19, damaging the left-rear wheel of the Ferrari, bringing the session to a close.

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

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