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Mercedes led the final two Friday practice sessions of the 2015 Formula One world championship at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg both topped one session each, with Ferrari, Red Bull and Force India all managing to get drivers within a second in both sessions.

Lewis Hamilton has won the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and F1 world championship.

Hamilton held the top spot by just 1 tenth over team-mate Rosberg in the first practice session that was held during the heat of the day in Abu Dhabi. The heat and the time of day made the session largely unrepresentative considering that qualifying and the race will take place during late evening into night. This meant that many teams, such as Red Bull, opted to complete aero testing.

Kimi Raikkonen was the closest challenger to the Mercedes drivers; perhaps owing the speed to the temperature of the circuit at the time. He was 7 tenths off of Hamilton and 2 tenths ahead of 4th placed Daniil Kvyat, the second Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and 6th placed Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India.

Daniel Ricciardo was 7th fastest ahead of Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado, with Felipe Massa completing the top 10; 1.6 seconds down on Hamilton. Lotus had a shaky start to the weekend after having a late freight arrival that cost them running time in FP1. Both cars eventually managed to make it out on track, with Jolyon Palmer only getting 8 laps in after suffering a water leak. He ended the session 18th in Romain Grosjean’s car.

Abu Dhabi practice 1 results:

1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’43.75427
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’43.89531
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’44.50027
4Daniil KvyatRed Bull1’44.70223
5Sebastian VettelFerrari1’44.74223
6Nico HulkenbergForce India1’44.75122
7Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’44.89325
8Sergio PerezForce India1’44.93427
9Pastor MaldonadoLotus1’45.31428
10Felipe MassaWilliams1’45.43319
11Valtteri BottasWilliams1’45.60322
12Max VerstappenToro Rosso1’45.71832
13Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’45.77315
14Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1’45.86520
15Felipe NasrSauber1’46.11520
16Carlos SainzToro Rosso1’46.22021
17Marcus EricssonSauber1’46.40728
18Jolyon PalmerLotus1’46.5018
19Will StevensManor1’48.83619
20Roberto MerhiManor1’49.88820

Mercedes maintained their positions at the top of the time-sheets in the much more representative 2nd practice session, but this time it was Nico Rosberg who led Lewis Hamilton by 1 tenth. The pair look set to continue their fight for supremacy as they end the season this weekend.

Sergio Perez was in an impressive 3rd place at the end of the session despite the team having to stop the car after a brake-by-wire fault on his Force India; a problem that also affected the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz. He was just 6 tenths off of Rosberg and under a tenth faster than 4th placed Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull.

Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kvyat were 5th and 6th fastest ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg. Fernando Alonso was in the dazzlingly high position of 9th in the McLaren Honda after recovering from yet more engine issues in the first session. He was the last driver within a second of Rosberg in P1. Pastor Maldonado completed the top 10.

Abu Dhabi practice 2 results:

1Nico RosbergMercedes1’41.98338
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’42.12131
3Sergio PerezForce India1’42.61023
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’42.64736
5Sebastian VettelFerrari1’42.71735
6Daniil KvyatRed Bull1’42.79834
7Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’42.84936
8Nico HulkenbergForce India1’42.92835
9Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1’42.95531
10Pastor MaldonadoLotus1’43.43137
11Valtteri BottasWilliams1’43.44132
12Felipe MassaWilliams1’43.50632
13Max VerstappenToro Rosso1’43.66239
14Carlos SainzToro Rosso1’43.85420
15Romain GrosjeanLotus1’43.92927
16Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’44.05031
17Felipe NasrSauber1’44.11636
18Marcus EricssonSauber1’45.24528
19Will StevensManor1’46.45035
20Roberto MerhiManor1’47.02227

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