Practice One - Hamilton pips Button to P1 at Yas Marina 30 Oct 2009
Outgoing world champion Lewis Hamilton and his successor, Jenson Button, set the pace when the first session of practice was held here at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
In what proved to be a hot and remarkably incident-free hour and a half session, Hamilton revelled in an ambient temperature of 34 degrees Celsius and set the fastest time in 1m 43.939s in the McLaren, and was the only driver to breach 1m 44s.
Button just missed out for Brawn, whose car loved the 47 degree Celsius track temperature, chasing the McLaren with 1m 44.035s despite being the first to spin, in Turn 19. Team mate Rubens Barrichello was fourth on 1m 44.207s.
Between them Sebastian Vettel was happy with 1m 44.153s for Red Bull. BMW Sauber were well placed for what may prove to be their final race, with Nick Heidfeld fifth on 1m 44.667s ahead of Sebastien Buemi, who wheeled his Toro Rosso round in 1m 44.687s to pip Adrian Sutil's 1m 44.688s. The Force India driver sat out much of the session with technical problems, but did the job when it mattered in the closing minutes.
Mark Webber was eighth for Red Bull on 1m 44.805s, just ahead of Jaime Alguersuari's Toro Rosso on 1m 44.955s, Toyota's Jarno Trulli in 10th place with 1m 44.958s, and BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica who completed the runners below 1m 45s with 1m 44.988s.
Heikki Kovalainen was 12th for McLaren on 1m 45.123s, then came the Williams of Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima on 1m 45.649s and 1m 45.679s respectively, Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari on 1m 45.704s, Fernando Alonsos Renault on 1m 45.865s, Vitantonio Liuzzi's Force India on 1m 46.239s, Giancarlo Fisichella's Ferrari on 1m 46.267s, Kamui Kobayashi's Toyota on 1m 46.364s and Romain Grosjean's Renault on 1m 46.411s.
Besides Button, the other transgressors were Kobayashi who spun in Turn Six, and Kovalainen who ran off the road in Turn 20.