Yas Marina Practice 1: Grosjean stumps Red Bull and Mercedes 1 November, 2013 Romain Grosjean fastest in FP1 at Yas Marina Circuit After a superb performance in India less than a week ago, Romain Grosjean’s journey to Formula 1 redemption continued as he ended at the top of the timing sheets at the end of the first free practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend. In the process he out-performed Mercedes and Red Bull, whose Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel who had both had topped the timing screens during the 90 minutes, but ended the session second and third respectively. Grosjean – at the wheel of the longer wheel-base Lotus E21 – was quick throughout, powering around the marina based venue in a best time of 1:44.241, which was 0.192 seconds up on Hamilton and a quarter second up on Vettel. Lewis Hamilton second in FP1 Next up were Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, fourth and fifth respectively suggesting that the weekend will be slug match between the two teams, with Grosjean the cat among the pigeons. Prior to FP1 much attention surrounded the whereabouts of Kimi Raikkonen with speculation swirling that the Finn might ditch the team prematurely. Alas – for the conspiracy theorists – this proved to be unfounded as he did arrive, whereupon he jumped into the shorter wheel-base E21 and ended the session sixth fastest 0.688 of a second down on his teammate’s best. Apparently enjoying the point and squirt nature of the Yas Marina Circuit, plus the heat, was Paul di Resta who ended the session seventh fastest and perhaps indicating a much needed turnaround in fortunes for the Scot and his team. James Calado, on duty in place of Adrian Sutil, ended 14th. Sebastian Vettel third in FP1 Jenson Button was eighth with McLaren teammate Sergio Perez rounding out the top ten, with Williams driver Pastor Maldonado splitting the pair on the timing screens with the ninth best time. Fastest of the Ferrari powered brigade was Nico Hulkenberg in the Sauber, the German having apparently recovered from an upset stomach. Both Maranello drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, were out of the top ten, ending the session 12th and 17th respectively. Alonso was a whopping 1.199 seconds down on Grosjean’s best. Report in progress… Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Free Practice 1 – Friday, 1 November 2013 Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:44.241 21 2 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:44.433 0.192 23 3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:44.499 0.258 18 4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:44.712 0.471 20 5 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:44.741 0.500 24 6 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:44.929 0.688 23 7 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:45.040 0.799 20 8 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:45.099 0.858 20 9 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:45.150 0.909 24 10 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:45.331 1.090 20 11 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:45.378 1.137 23 12 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:45.440 1.199 18 13 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:45.823 1.582 22 14 15 James Calado Force India-Mercedes 1:45.924 1.683 20 15 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:46.068 1.827 18 16 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:46.114 1.873 22 17 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:46.124 1.883 18 18 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:46.126 1.885 21 19 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:47.600 3.359 22 20 21 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:47.670 3.429 22 21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:47.723 3.482 23 22 23 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1:49.565 5.324 22 Tweet Related NewsF1 drivers take to Twitter to congratulate HamiltonBBC claim highest viewership for Abu Dhabi GPHamilton: I celebrated with a watermelon juiceBritish press go to town on Hamilton triumphRosberg: Hamilton was the best driver on the grid this yearMallya: Red Bull cheats on the regulationsLewis and Nico shake hands at end of epic seasonHamilton family spring surprise on champAlonso overcome by emotion on Ferrari farewellWilliams celebrate best finish for 11 years Ian Please explain why “Alas”!!!! Editor @Ian because we feel like it you asshole now fuckoff to autosport you pussy Alonso_is_Slow Kimi Wankonnen outpaced again…… he’s losing interest. He’s in his 2008/9 self destruct mode anyway. Big $$$$$ from the dancing mule in 2014 will be nice to retire with. Nice of him to show up, tho.