SPORTS


Lewis Hamilton tops Abu Dhabi first practice

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Abu Dhabi, November 27, AZERTAC

Lewis Hamilton pipped Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to fastest in first practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, according to bbc.

The world champion was 0.141 seconds ahead of Rosberg, the pair well clear of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in third.

Raikkonen was 0.746 seconds behind and 0.202secs ahead of Red Bull's fourth-placed Daniil Kvyat, with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel fifth.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were sixth and eighth, split by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

McLaren's Jenson Button was 13th, one place and 0.092secs ahead of team-mate Fernando Alonso.

Lotus reserve driver Jolyon Palmer, who is being promoted to a race seat in 2016, was unable to run until the final 12 minutes of the session as his team fixed a water leak in his car. The Englishman ended up 18th fastest, after a quick and harmless spin at Turn 18.

On a warm, sunny day, with more clouds in the sky than are normal in Abu Dhabi and the occasional patch of shade on the circuit, it was a largely uneventful session, befitting the fact much of the focus of the weekend is off-track rather than on it.

The championships are settled, to the extent that the top three in the drivers' title race cannot change and nor can the top five in the constructors' table.

The one area of title-related interest is whether Williams driver Valtteri Bottas can hang on to fourth place behind Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel and ahead of Raikkonen.

The Finn has said that whatever happens is "not going to change our world", but Bottas has admitted that: "It doesn't matter if it's Kimi or anyone else, but it would be nice to be ahead of one quicker car in the championship.'"

Off track, there are question marks about the future of various teams.

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