Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Max Verstappen fastest in first practice

He was 0.196 seconds quicker than Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, while Verstappen’s title rival Lewis Hamilton was third, 0.346secs off the pace. Hamilton had a quicker lap – just 0.033secs off Verstappen’s pace – deleted for exceeding track limits. If neither finish, Verstappen will take the title on the basis of having one more win. The build-up to the weekend has been dominated by the fall-out from last weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, in which Verstappen and Hamilton engaged in their most ill-tempered duel of the season, with Verstappen penalised by officials three times for different incidents. He has arrived in Abu Dhabi claiming that he is being treated differently by officials.

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