Max Verstappen leads in Abu Dhabi GP Practice

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen arrived first in the first practice round of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

All the teams, including Mercedes and Ferrari, had been experimenting with hyper-soft tyres for a while in preparation for the GP. However, Red Bull demonstrated the best use of the hyper-soft tyres for the second lap, after switching from harder ones. Mercedes and Ferrari both went for the opposite approach, pulling out the hyper-softs at the very beginning and then switching on to super-soft(Botas) and ultra-soft(Hamilton) for the upcoming laps.

Hamilton mentioned being underwhelmed with the performance of the car this time, stating that ‘It’s quite an unhappy car at the moment’ during the radio mid-session. A similar situation happened to Valtteri Botas, who ran wide more than once when switching to harder tyres.

Hamilton is running the engine he has used before in Brazil (and five other weekends before that) on Friday once again, and the Mercedes team mentioned that the post-run analysis will determine whether he will run it once again in Abu Dhabi, or switch to a different one.

This years’ Abu Dhabi GP is also significant for Spaniard Fernando Alonso, whose carrier as an F1 driver is to end after this weekend. He ended the practice session 19th fastest on a McLaren 2020 car.

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