Hamilton was 0.220s quicker than George Russell, who claimed his maiden grand prix victory last weekend in Brazil, on the soft tyres as Mercedes made a fast start to the final F1 weekend of the 2022 season. 

Abu Dhabi marks the final opportunity for Hamilton to preserve his win-every-season record at the venue he controversially missed out on the 2021 world title to Max Verstappen 12 months ago. 

Why was Daniel Ricciardo replaced by Oscar Piastri at McLaren for F1 2023?

Charles Leclerc was third-fastest for Ferrari, 0.255s adrift of Hamilton and ahead of Sergio Perez and Liam Lawson, who finished fifth and half a second off the pace on his first outing in Verstappen’s title-winning RB18. 

Sebastian Vettel was sixth-fastest for Aston Martin ahead of what will be the four-time world champion’s final race of his F1 career before retiring. 

Ferrari junior Robert Swartzman was seventh-quickest as he deputised for Carlos Sainz, while Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas and Alex Albon completed the top-10 for McLaren, Alfa Romeo and Williams. 

Having survived a spin at Turn 1, Logan Sargeant collected another point in his quest for a superlicence ahead of his planned F1 debut next season by completing 23 laps for Williams on his way to setting the 15th-fastest time. 

IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward was 18th on his FP1 debut driving Lando Norris’ McLaren, ahead of Jack Doohan (Alpine) and fellow practice debutant Felipe Drugovich, who was slowest of all for Aston Martin.