Sebastian Vettel made a strong start to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend by leading the opening Formula 1 practice session on Friday afternoon, edging out Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Arriving in Abu Dhabi off the back of his fifth win of the year in Brazil two weeks ago, Vettel hit the top of the timesheets in FP1 to build yet more momentum as both he and Ferrari bid to end the season in style ahead of a renewed title challenge in 2018.

Vettel turned in a fastest lap time of 1:39.006 to finish one-tenth of a second clear of Hamilton, who headed the field for the majority of the session before being displaced with 20 minutes to go.

Max Verstappen finished third for Red Bull, falling just two-hundredths of a second shy of Hamilton, with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen taking P4.

Valtteri Bottas wound up fifth in the second Mercedes, seven-tenths of a second off the pace, while Sergio Perez led the midfield runners in sixth place for Force India.

Despite remaining in the pits for much of the session, Fernando Alonso was able to lead McLaren's in seventh ahead of teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, with Felipe Massa and Daniel Ricciardo completing the top 10 for Williams and Red Bull.

Junior drivers George Russell and Antonio Giovinazzi both featured in the session for Force India and Haas respectively. Russell finished an impressive 11th, lapping nine-tenths of a second slower than teammate Perez, while Giovinazzi survived a spin to end the session 18th for Haas.

The session went by without major incident, with the most notable shunt coming from Romain Grosjean in the second Haas when he spun in the final sector and bumped the wall with the rear-end of his car. The Frenchman was able to easily pull away before returning to the pits so the team could assess any damage sustained.

Practice continues in Abu Dhabi with FP2 at 5pm local time in Abu Dhabi.