Grosjean quickest in opening practice
1 November 2013 – Romain Grosjean set the standard during Friday's opening free practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Lotus driver, who delivered a time of 1:44.241 just before the chequered flag dropped, led Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton by 0.192 seconds, while Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel completed the top three.
With engine cycles on the limit as the campaign draws to a close, it took almost half an hour for the first lap time to arrive. McLaren's Sergio Pérez was the man to get the action started, before the frontrunners gradually emerged and took over the helm.
The top spot regularly changed hands as the session wore on, but it ultimately went Grosjean's way courtesy of a rapid late run. Hamilton wound up second after leading for a significant portion, ahead of newly-crowned quadruple World Champion Vettel.
Webber and Rosberg followed in third and fourth respectively, with Kimi Räikkönen – whose relationship with the Lotus team has been put under the spotlight after the radio drama at last weekend's Indian Grand Prix – putting his E21 in sixth position.
Paul di Resta gave Force India reason to be optimistic in seventh, while Jenson Button, Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Pérez rounded out the top ten positions. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa classified back in 12th and 17th.
James Calado was one of three reserve drivers on-track, taking over Adrian Sutil's cockpit and classifying 14th. Heikki Kovalainen, who replaced Giedo van der Garde, finished 20th and just behind fellow Caterham driver Charles Pic, while Rodolfo González – in Max Chilton's car – lapped almost a second slower than Jules Bianchi.
The session was largely drama-free, although Vettel misjudged the entry to his pit area when returning from a late run, forcing his mechanics to take avoiding action.
Friday's second practice session at the Yas Marina Circuit gets underway at 5pm local time (GMT +4) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net live report feature