Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, 2015

Mercedes comfortably ahead in first practice

2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix first practice

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Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2015
Red Bull took the opportunity to run an aero test
The Mercedes drivers occupied the top two places at the end of the final first practice session of 2015 in Abu Dhabi.

Lewis Hamilton took the top time from Nico Rosberg by little more than a tenth of a second after his team mate set the pace in the first half-hour of running.

It was a fairly quiet session during which several teams were clearly running with one eye on their 2016 preparations. Red Bull ran a large aero rig on their car and Ferrari used illuminated ride height sensors on Kimi Raikkonen’s chassis. Yesterday Fernando Alonso indicated half of his McLaren would be 2016 parts.

Raikkonen came closest to the Mercedes drivers’ pave but was almost three-quarters of a second slower. The next three drivers were separated by just five-hundredths of a second: Daniil Kvyat ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hulkenberg.

Having missed scrutineering yesterday Lotus managed to get both their cars on the track, although Jolyon Palmer’s only appeared in the final 20 minutes after a water leak was found on his car. He had a brief spin at one stage, but managed to complete eight laps.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’43.75427
26Nico RosbergMercedes1’43.8950.14131
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’44.5000.74627
426Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’44.7020.94823
55Sebastian VettelFerrari1’44.7420.98823
627Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’44.7510.99722
73Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’44.8931.13925
811Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’44.9341.18027
913Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’45.3141.56028
1019Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’45.4331.67919
1177Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’45.6031.84922
1233Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’45.7181.96432
1322Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’45.7732.01915
1414Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’45.8652.11120
1512Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’46.1152.36120
1655Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’46.2202.46621
179Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’46.4072.65328
1830Jolyon PalmerLotus-Mercedes1’46.5012.7478
1928Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’48.8365.08219
2098Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’49.8886.13420

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’43.754

+0.141 Nico Rosberg – 1’43.895

+0.746 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’44.500

+0.948 Daniil Kvyat – 1’44.702

+0.988 Sebastian Vettel – 1’44.742

+0.997 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’44.751

+1.139 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’44.893

+1.180 Sergio Perez – 1’44.934

+1.560 Pastor Maldonado – 1’45.314

+1.679 Felipe Massa – 1’45.433

+1.849 Valtteri Bottas – 1’45.603

+1.964 Max Verstappen – 1’45.718

+2.019 Jenson Button – 1’45.773

+2.111 Fernando Alonso – 1’45.865

+2.361 Felipe Nasr – 1’46.115

+2.466 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’46.220

+2.653 Marcus Ericsson – 1’46.407

+2.747 Jolyon Palmer – 1’46.501

+5.082 Will Stevens – 1’48.836

+6.134 Roberto Merhi – 1’49.888

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “Mercedes comfortably ahead in first practice”

  1. sky sports news were like- ‘Hamilton was having problems’ and showed a clip with a radio message about to pop up, but then the clip stopped. hmmm…

  2. As a Lewis fan – if Hamilton topped the session, shouldn’t there be a picture of him or his car at the top of the article instead of a smiling & increasingly annoying Nico Rosberg? (don’t take this comment too seriously)

    1. I think that pic is Hamilton; Rosberg’s helmet is silver, IIRC.

      1. The pic has been changed. But thank you, @keithcollantine!

        1. That would explain that :)

    2. @andrewf1 so you had your wish granted…

    3. @andrewf1 I had exactly the same tough when I first saw the picture, worst I tough Rosberg was ahead (yes I’m a LH fan :) )

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