Sebastian Vettel headed the times at the end of the first practice session in Abu Dhabi.
Team mate and title rival Mark Webber was fourth, sandwiching the two McLarens of Lewis Hamilton ahead of Jenson Button.
Practice began on a damp circuit which dried throughout the session. After doing their installation laps, the drivers stayed in their garages for the rest of the first half of the 90 minute session.
Over 50 minutes had passed when Vitaly Petrov finally set the first of the day’s times, followed swiftly by Nico Hulkenberg and then the rest of the drivers.
Although Fernando Alonso briefly topped the times sheets the Red Bulls were fastest almost from their first lap of the Yas Marina circuit.
Webber was fastest to begin with after trading times with Vettel, but it was the German driver who ended the session on top.
McLaren waited longer than most to send their drivers out. When Hamilton finally went out he set the second fastest time despite running very wide in the final two corners on one lap.
Button again complained about his front wheels locking under braking, a recurring problem for him in recent races.
Alonso ended the session sixth fastest while team mate Felipe Massa was 11th in his first session at Yas Marina. He was instructed to abort an early run due a problem with the car’s telemetry.
Fairuz Fauzy drove the second Lotus in place of Heikki Kovalainen. He had a spin early on in the session but didn’t hit anything, but later experienced overheating problems with his Lotus.
The other driver to hit trouble was Rubens Barrichello, whose Williams came to a halt as practice ended.
|1||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’42.760||18|
|4||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’43.840||1.080||19|
|14||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’45.552||2.792||20|
|15||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’45.585||2.825||14|
|16||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’46.003||3.243||20|
|18||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’47.105||4.345||22|
|21||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’49.375||6.615||13|
2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Image © Red Bull/Getty images