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2020 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Free Practice 1 Report – F1 Racecast – Dec 11 to Dec 13 – ESPN.co.uk

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Max Verstappen in motion within the Pink Bull RB16.

Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Pictures

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Max Verstappen set the quickest time within the opening follow session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton made his return to Mercedes.

Hamilton missed the Sakhir Grand Prix after testing optimistic for COVID-19 in Bahrain, however returned in Abu Dhabi after a collection of destructive exams to set the fifth quickest in first follow on Friday.

Verstappen’s finest time, a 1:37.378, was 0.034s faster than Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas as Pink Bull hopes to take the combat to the world champions one final time in 2020.

Esteban Ocon was third quickest for Renault, 1.1s off Verstappen and simply 0.032s forward of the second Pink Bull of Alex Albon.

Hamilton was 1.3s off the tempo however set his time on the laborious compound tyres whereas the highest 4 set their occasions on softs. He additionally misplaced 20 minutes of observe time early within the session after his entrance brakes appeared to keep on throughout his first lap again on observe, leading to temperatures going too excessive and a name from the pit wall to return to the storage.

Racing Level completed the session sixth and seventh, with Sakhir Grand Prix race winner Sergio Perez behind teammate Lance Stroll. Nonetheless, new energy unit parts fitted to Perez’s automotive this weekend means he’ll begin from the again of the grid no matter the place he qualifies on Saturday.

Perez will likely be joined in the back of the grid by Kevin Magnussen, who additionally has a grid penalty, and noticed his automotive pushed by 2021 Haas driver Mick Schumacher in opening follow.

Schumacher was confirmed as a Haas driver for subsequent 12 months final week and completed his first full F1 follow session in 18th, 2.8s away from Pietro Fittipaldi, who continues to fill in for Romain Grosjean this weekend.

Robert Kubica stood in for a single follow session at Alfa Romeo in Antonio Giovinazzi’s automotive as a part of his reserve driver function and set the fifteenth quickest time. 

Daniel Ricciardo completed the session on the backside of the timesheets after a lack of gasoline stress noticed him cease on observe after simply three laps.

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