Vettel heads Red Bull 1-2 on first day
1 November 2013 – Sebastian Vettel headed a Red Bull 1-2 during second practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday evening. The newly-crowned four-time World Champion posted a time of 1:41.335 on Pirelli's Soft compound tyre to outpace Mark Webber by 0.155 seconds, with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton classifying third.
As temperatures dropped and the floodlights illuminated at the Yas Marina Circuit, the drivers were given a valuable opportunity to gather data in conditions similar to those expected throughout Sunday's race. But before the longer simulations got underway, the field embarked upon the usual performance runs on the softer rubber.
Vettel and Webber ultimately shone through with their attempts, putting a comfortable margin between themselves and the rest of the field. Hamilton, who lacked precisely two tenths to the nearest RB9, edged out Lotus driver Kimi Räikkönen for third, with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg three hundredths further back in fifth position.
McLaren's Sergio Pérez and Jenson Button followed in sixth and seventh respectively, while Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa put their Ferrari team inside the top ten for the first time this weekend, the pair sandwiching Sauber's Nico Hülkenberg.
Having set the standard in opening practice, Romain Grosjean was hit with technical problems en route to 12th. The Frenchman was crucially unable to trial the Soft tyre, leaving him with plenty of work to do in tomorrow morning's final practice session.
In the battle between the sport's newest teams, Giedo van der Garde put Caterham comfotably ahead of Marussia. The Dutchman finished just over three tenths of a second clear of Jules Bianchi, with Charles Pic and Max Chilton bringing up the rear.
Saturday's final practice session at the Yas Marina Circuit gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT +4) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net live report feature