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Formula 1: Mercedes lead opening practice in Abu Dhabi GP as rookies featured in Vettel's final dance

Formula 1: The Abu Dhabi GP is the final race of the 2022 season of Formula 1. Several teams gave chances to rookie racers in the First Practice. Meanwhile, Mercedes led the FP1 in Abu Dhabi.

Varun Malik Written By: Varun Malik New Delhi Published on: November 18, 2022 17:43 IST
Mercedes lead FP1 in Abu Dhabi
Image Source : INDIA TV Mercedes lead FP1 in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1 Abu Dhabi GP: The Mercedes team started from where they left in the previous week as drivers led the first practice at Abu Dhabi GP on Friday. Youngster George Russell clocked the fastest time at the practice followed by teammate and 7 time World Champion Lewis Hamilton. The practice session witnessed several rookies running behind the wheels of F1 cars as many regular drivers were rested. Notably, the race is 4-time F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel's final race of his F1 career.

In the practice session, Russell 1m 26.633s to take the first spot, while Hamilton was just 0.220s behind him. The FP1 featured the likes of Liam Lawson, Robert Shwartzman, Robert Kubica, Logan Sargeant, Pietro Fittipaldi, Patricio O'Ward, Jack Doohan and Felipe Drugovich driving for F1 cars. F2 race winner and Max Verstappen's replacement for the FP1 Lawson finished an impressive 5th, behind Charles Leclerc (3rd) and Sergio Perez (4th). While, Sainz's replacement and 2021 F2 runner up Shwartzman, took the seventh spot, behind Sebastian Vettel. Completing the top 10 were, Daniel Ricciardo (8th), Valtteri Bottas (9th) and Alexander Albon (10th). 

Veteran driver Kubica, who replaced Zhou Guanyu also featured in the practice and finished 14th. The other rookie drivers finished outside the top 10. Nicholas Latifi's replacement Logan Sargeant took the 15th spot while Mick Schumacher's stand in Fittipaldi took the 17th place. O'Ward (18th), Jack Doohan (19th) and Drugovich (20th) completed the grid. O' Ward was brought in for Lando Norris, Doohan for Fernando Alonso and Drugovich was brought in for Lance Stroll.

The rookie drivers were given FP1 practice as Formula 1 mandates the teams to give the rookies at least two first practice sessions in a season. The regular drivers Verstappen, Sainz, Norris, Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi, Fernando Alonso, Mick Schumacher and Zhou Guanyu will return in FP2 on Friday evening

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