Giedo van der Garde was left to rue a missed opportunity in Abu Dhabi after an electrical issue prevented him from setting a time in Friday practice.

The Dutchman was back in action with Caterham but managed just three laps in the opening session before being forced to park his car.

It came at a time when the former GP2 racer is seeking to earn a place on the grid for next season, with his focus now turning to next week's Young Driver Test, when he will spend two days behind the wheel.

"Obviously that was a pretty frustrating session, but these things sometimes happen," he said. "As soon as I went out on the installation lap I could hear that the engine sounded different to my previous FP1 runs and from what I understand the problem looks like it's to do with the electronic boxes or the looms.

"It's a shame as this is a track I know well and it would have helped to run more comparisons with the updates on Heikki's car, but I still have the first two days of the young driver test in the car next week so that's what I'm focusing on now."

The team worked hard to get the car fixed in time for Vitaly Petrov to take over for FP2 and he responded by setting the best time of the 'new' teams ahead of team-mate Heikki Kovalainen.

"I sat out FP1 and saw how hard the team worked to sort out the electrical issue that cut Giedo's session short," he said. "It was all sorted out by the start of FP2 so we could get on with the program immediately. On my first run we had a few handling issues to sort out so we made some mechanical changes and saw an immediate improvement on the second run.

"By the time we put on the soft tyres the times were getting quicker with every lap and I think we found a balance that's working for us around here. We've generated a lot of data from all the runs we've done today on both tyre compounds so even with the problem we had this morning we've got through nearly the whole program and are set up ok for the rest of the weekend."