Lewis Hamilton won the latest round of the Mercedes tussle as he edged Nico Rosberg by a tenth on Friday afternoon at the Yas Marina circuit.
Despite being a twilight race Friday’s opening practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix began in full sunlight and with the temperature constantly rising.
There may be little but pride to play for this weekend but pride is something all Formula 1 drivers have in abundance, especially when it comes to battling their team-mates.
As expected it was the Mercedes duo who led the charge at the Yas Marina circuit as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton traded P1s on the soft tyres.
The duo were out early, quickly moving to the top of the timesheet, positions they would hold through to the chequered flag.
Hamilton ended quickest with a 1:43.754 while Rosberg was 0.141 seconds slower than his team-mate.
Kimi Raikkonen was third for Ferrari on an afternoon where his team-mate had a slow start. Sebastian Vettel was one of the last to begin his day’s work and he finished in fifth place as a late lap saw him move to within a second of the P1 time. Raikkonen was 0.746s off the pace while Vettel was 0.988s down.
It was a good start to the weekend for Red Bull with Daniil Kvyat fourth and Daniel Ricciardo, who has reverted to the old spec Renault engine, seventh fastest.
Nico Hulkenberg split the Red Bulls while his Force India team-mate Sergio Perez was P8. Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Massa completed the top ten.
It was a wretched session for Lotus test driver Jolyon Palmer as the team discovered a water leak as they fired up the E23. As such he only ventured with ten minutes remaining in the 90-minute session and covered just nine laps.
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:43.754 28 laps
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:43.895 +0.141 32 laps
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:44.500 +0.746 27 laps
4 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:44.702 +0.948 24 laps
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:44.742 +0.988 23 laps
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:44.751 +0.997 23 laps
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:44.893 +1.139 26 laps
8 Sergio Perez Force India 1:44.934 +1.180 27 laps
9 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:45.314 +1.560 29 laps
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1:45.433 +1.679 21 laps
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:45.603 +1.849 22 laps
12 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:45.718 +1.964 32 laps
13 Jenson Button McLaren 1:45.773 +2.019 16 laps
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:45.865 +2.111 20 laps
15 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:46.115 +2.361 20 laps
16 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:46.220 +2.466 21 laps
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:46.407 +2.653 30 laps
18 Jolyon Palmer Lotus 1:46.501 +2.747 9 laps
19 Will Stevens Manor 1:48.836 +5.082 19 laps
20 Roberto Merhi Manor 1:49.888 +6.134 20 laps