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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Grosjean tops opening practice

Romain Grosjean and Lotus quickest in Abu Dhabi FP1
Romain Grosjean made a strong start to the 2013 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by setting the pace in opening practice at the Yas Marina Circuit.

The Frenchman put Lotus on top near the end of the 90-minute session, when he posted a 1 minute 44.241 second lap to knock Lewis Hamilton down to second, the Briton ending up 0.192 seconds slower.

It was a fairly uneventful start to the weekend and it wasn't until some 30 minutes in that a time was posted, thanks to Sergio Perez. Grosjean then went top with a 1m 45.329s effort, before Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Hamilton all took turns to occupy P1, before Lotus re-took the initiative with less than 2 minutes to go.

Vettel finished up third for Red Bull, 0.258 seconds off Grosjean, while Mark Webber was fourth in the sister car. Nico Rosberg completed the top five for Mercedes, with Kimi Raikkonen, who was absent on Thursday, sixth in the second Lotus, over half a second off his team-mate.

Behind, Paul di Resta was an encouraging seventh for Force India, ahead of the McLaren's Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, who were split by Pastor Maldonado, a surprise ninth in his Williams.

Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg took P11 on the timesheets, with Fernando Alonso and Ferrari off the pace and only 12th. Felipe Massa also seemed to be off the pace in the second F138 and was only 17th.

Valtteri Bottas, Force India tester, James Calado – using Adrian Sutil's car, Esteban Gutierrez and Jean-Eric Vergne filled the spots in between, with Daniel Ricciardo then 18th, followed by the Caterhams and Marussias.

Charles Pic led the 'third division' runers in P19 for Caterham, 0.070 seconds up on test and reserve runner Heikki Kovalainen, who had another practice run, this time in Giedo van Garde's car. Marussia duo Jules Bianchi and Rodolfo Gonzalez were slowest, the latter 1.896 seconds off his team-mate. Gonzalez will now hand the car back to Max Chilton for FP2.

Times for FP1 available HERE

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
25.10.2013- Free Practice 1: Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
25.10.2013- Free Practice 1: Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
25.10.2013- Free Practice 2: Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21

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