Practice One - Button takes charge at Yas Marina 11 Nov 2011
Jenson Button headed the times after the first practice session here in Abu Dhabi on Friday afternoon, but McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton and the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel were right there too.
The McLaren drivers spent most of the session pushing one another along, with Button finally setting the fastest time of 1m 40.263s to Hamiltons 1m 40.403s, and right at the end Webber split them with 1m 40.389s, as Vettel ran fourth on 1m 40.755s. The only other man to get close to that quartet was Fernando Alonso, who had to push his Ferrari hard enough to spin in Turn Six before going on to record 1m 40.801s.
Felipe Massa had a big spin, spending a long time sliding broadside down the road in Turn One, and was sixth on 1m 41.260s from on-form Adrian Sutil who whirled his Force India round in 1m 41.130s for seventh. Nico Rosberg took eighth for Mercedes with 1m 42.130s, just ahead of Paul di Resta in the second Force India on 1m 42.151s.
The new boys showed well. Jaime Alguersuari was 10th for Toro Rosso with 1m 42.377s, but World Series by Renault racer Jean-Eric Vergne was right on his tail with 1m 42.633s. Right behind him, returnee Romain Grosjean, the reigning GP2 champion, lapped his Renault in 1m 42.685s to upstage team mate Vitaly Petrov, who managed 1m 43.118s.
Pastor Maldonado took his Williams round in 1m 34.255s for 14th ahead of Mercedes Michael Schumacher on 1m 43.389s, as Sergio Perez headed Sauber team mate Kamui Kobayashi in their wake, 1m 43.412s to 1m 43.484s.
There was a gap back to Heikki Kovalainen in 18th in the lead Lotus on 1m 44.565s, as team mate Jarno Trulli posted 1m 44.898s. In the HRT camp Tonio Liuzzi was 20th with 1m 46.385s to Daniel Ricciardos 1m 46.532s, while World Series by Renault champion Rob Wickens got close to Virgin partner Timo Glock on his first Friday morning appearance with 1m 48.551s to 1m 48.024s. Glock was another to spin, as was Kovalainen.
Rubens Barrichello did not record a time after stopping his Williams with mechanical problems after three laps.
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