Hamilton makes 'good progress' on first day
24 November 2017 – Lewis Hamilton was encouraged by Mercedes' start to proceedings at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as he set the quickest ever lap of the Yas Marina Circuit during practice.
Hamilton, having finished second to Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the daytime opening session, moved clear of his rival in the twilight second 90-minute gathering, as drivers ran qualifying simulations.
Hamilton wound up with a 1:37.877 to finish 0.149s clear of Vettel, as he bids to add to his previous three victories at the venue, and spoke of "good progress" between sessions.
"It's been a good Friday, but I'm happy that it's the last one of the season," said Hamilton.
"We got lots of laps in today and made good progress with the balance of the car. We have a bit of work to do, but I feel like we're quite competitive here.
"It's relatively close still, but I like that."
Valtteri Bottas, meanwhile, placed fifth in both sessions, classifying almost seven-tenths of a second adrift of his team-mate.
"We dedicated the first practice session to testing for next year," explained Bottas.
"We ran different kinds of mechanical and especially aero tests, so we didn't learn that much for this weekend in FP1, but definitely a lot for next year.
"The second session was more straightforward, [but] I was missing a bit of time in the last sector, so as a team we need to work on that.
"Overall, it's been a pretty good day, we just need to find some more pace from my side for tomorrow."