Sebastian Vettel kicked off the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend by topping the event's first free practice, edging out Lewis Hamilton by just over a tenth of a second.
Only 0.148s separated the top three drivers, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen in third, a tight spread which bodes well for the remainder of the weekend.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Free Practice 1 results
|2||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1:39.126s||+ 0.120s||25|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:39.154s||+ 0.148s||15|
|4||Kimi Räikkönen||Ferrari||1:39.518s||+ 0.512s||22|
|5||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1:39.741s||+ 0.735s||30|
|6||Sergio Pérez||Force India||1:40.293s||+ 1.287s||24|
|7||Fernando Alonso||McLaren||1:40.522s||+ 1.516s||20|
|8||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||1:40.569s||+ 1.563s||15|
|9||Felipe Massa||Williams||1:40.723s||+ 1.717s||27|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:40.773s||+ 1.767s||29|
|11||George Russell||Force India||1:41.131s||+ 2.125s||26|
|12||Romain Grosjean||Haas||1:41.306s||+ 2.300s||24|
|13||Lance Stroll||Williams||1:41.581s||+ 2.575s||27|
|14||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:41.646s||+ 2.640s||29|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Renault||1:41.748s||+ 2.742s||23|
|16||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber||1:41.752s||+ 2.746s||26|
|17||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault||1:41.864s||+ 2.858s||26|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Haas||1:42.065s||+ 3.059s||21|
|19||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||1:42.344s||+ 3.338s||28|
|20||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||1:42.585s||+ 3.579s||35|
Whether it be drivers or bits and pieces, Friday's first practice session saw most teams test and trial as the 90-minute daytime run at Yas Marina is typically conducted in conditions which are very different than those which shall prevail in qualifying and in the race.
Two driver changes were noted at the outset, with George Russell standing in for Esteban Ocon at Force India, while Antonio Giovinazzi was on duty at Haas, standing in for Kevin Magnussen.
Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley, a man who has been plagued with reliability issues since his arrival in F1, was the first driver to take to the track.
Kimi Raikkonen pulled out of the Ferrari garage with his car sporting an array of sensors, while 2017 world champion Lewis Hamilton was seen wearing brand new gold lid.
Meanwhile, Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas put himself at the top of the timesheet early on with both Silver Arrows putting in some good mileage at the ouset.
McLaren - which endures its final race with Honda this weekend - put Fernando Alonso on a testing programme, with the Spaniard limited to the odd exploratory lap and failing to set a proper time in the session's first hour. When he did string together a few laps, he put himself immediately in the top ten.
In the Red Bull camp, Max Verstappen bolted on a set of purple ultrasofts in an attempt to join the Mercedes-Ferrari battle, which he promptly succeeded in doing by placing himself P2, right behind Hamilton.
Both Nico Hulkenberg and Giovinazzi briefly brought out the yellow flags when both drivers found themselves facing the wrong way on the track, in separate incidents.
Romain Grosjean also slipped off the track to bring out a third yellow, the Haas driver tagging the barriers at Turn 19 but without too much damage.
Twenty minutes from the end of the session, Sebastian Vettel vaulted to the top with a 1m39.006, just one tenth ahead of Hamilton, and FP1 concluded with the German fastest remaining there.