Nico Rosberg said his aim was to help Mercedes be 'best of the rest' in Abu Dhabi after posting the fifth quickest time in Friday practice at the Yas Marina circuit.

The German was four-tenths of a second off the pace set by Sebastian Vettel during the second 90 minute session, which saw the top nine drivers covered by less than a second.

Having taken a podium finish in India last weekend, Rosberg will now hope to try and, while confident of earning a repeat this time around, he admitted that strategy would play a key part in how the race panned out.

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"We didn't learn a great deal during the first practice session today as it was so hot and we won't have those conditions in qualifying or the race," he said. "I struggled a little on the option tyres but was able to find a better rhythm when we switched to the primes.

"It should be an interesting race from a strategy perspective as the tyres seem to be right on the limit of one or two stops. Our aim is to be the best of the rest again, which I'm quite confident we can achieve and score some important points."

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton meanwhile was third quickest on the Friday times and admitted there was still more to come from the Brackley-based team.

"Today was a fairly standard Friday programme for us, although the second session is always more valuable here as it's so much more reflective of the race conditions. As the temperatures cool down, the characteristics of the car change and you get an increase in understeer, so the main challenge is to try and pre-empt the set-up that you're going to need.

"Physically it gets easier when the sun goes down but you don't even notice the visibility change as they do such a good job of lighting the track. A decent start today but there's a lot of work ahead of us over the weekend and we'll give it everything we can as always."