The dutch Max Verstappen (Red Bull) dominated this Friday the first free trial for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the seventeenth and last of the Formula One World, already resolved in favor of English Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), fifth in a session in which the Mexican Sergio Perez (Racing Point) marked the seventh time; and spanish Carlos Sainz (McLaren), the eleventh.
In the best of its 26 laps, Verstappen covered, with a soft tire, the 5,554 meters of Yas Marina circuit in one minute, 37 seconds and 378 thousandths, 34 less than the Finnish Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), second in the World Championship, 16 points ahead of the Dutchman, who did six more laps and also performed his best lap on soft tires.
Hamilton, which last month equaled the record of seven titles World Cups by German Michael Schumacher, returned to the circuits after missing the last Grand Prix, that of Sakhir, for positive in covid-19. The Briton set the fifth time with a hard tire – one second and three tenths behind the Dutch – in a session in which ‘Checo’, winner of the second race in Bahrain, registered seventh in the times table; and Sainz, fourth last Sunday, eleventh.
The Mexican stayed, in the best of his 25 laps, a second and a half behind the clock of ‘Mad Max’. Sainz’s time was almost two seconds from whose time he repeated the track 27 times and, like Pérez, set his best time with the soft compound.
In Yas Marina’s first training the German Mick Schumacher -the son of the ‘Kaiser’-, which last Sunday confirmed his final victory in the Formula 2 championship and that next year he will compete, with the Haas team, in the category in which his father won seven titles. Mick took the wheel of the Haas from danish Kevin Magnussen -that next year will not continue in the F1– and marked the eighteenth time of the session, three seconds and eight tenths behind Verstappen.
The Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson of the mythical Emerson Fittipaldi (double world champion, in 1972 and 1974), who disputes the Grand Prix with the other Haas, the one left vacant by the French Romain Grosjean – who suffered a chilling accident in the first of two Bahrain races and returned to Switzerland to recover from burns to his hands – set the nineteenth time, more than six seconds behind the Dutch.
The second free training session will be held at five in the afternoon (two in Spanish peninsular time: 13:00 GMT).
Time table of the first free practice:
1. Max Verstappen (HOL/Red Bull) 1:37,378
2. Valtteri Bottas (FIN / Mercedes) at 0.034
3. Esteban Ocon (FRA/Renault) a 1,137
4. Alexander Albon (TAI/Red Bull) a 1,169
5. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) a 1,366
6. Lance Stroll (CAN/Racing Point) a 1,453
7. Sergio Perez (MEX/Racing Point) a 1,578
8. Daniil Kvyat (RUS / Alpha Tauri) of 1,772
9. Pierre Gasly (FRA / Alpha Tauri) and 1,782
10. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN / Alfa Romeo) a 1,821
11. Carlos Sainz (ESP/McLaren) a 1,952
12. Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) a 1,966
13. Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren) a 1,974
14. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) a 2,292
15. Robert Kubica (POL/Alfa Romeo) a 2,527
16. George Russell (GBR/Williams) a 3,068
17. Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams) a 3,685
18th Mick Schumacher (GER / Haas) a 3.857
19. Pietro Fittipaldi (BRA / Haas) a 6,691
20. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS / Renault) out of time.
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