Vettel back on top in Abu Dhabi

Fri Nov 1, 2013 2:37pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Newly-crowned quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel showed no signs of easing off as he led a familiar Red Bull one-two in free practice for the floodlit Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix on Friday.

The 26-year-old German, who secured his fourth successive title in India last weekend and will be chasing a seventh race win in a row on Sunday, scorched around the Yas Marina circuit with a best time of one minute 41.335 seconds in the evening session.

Australian team mate Mark Webber was 0.155 slower.

"It's difficult to say today how we compare to the others, we know the Lotus is quick here, but we also had decent pace today," said Vettel of his day's work.

"It's not always so easy at this circuit with the conditions changing throughout the day; we start in the sun and finish at night and the track temperature changes during that time. But, no big issues, so I'm pretty happy."

Lotus's Romain Grosjean, whose team mate Kimi Raikkonen won last year's race, was fastest in the searing afternoon heat in 1:44.241 but had a front brake failure under the floodlights.

Force India's Paul Di Resta and McLaren's Jenson Button both suffered punctures.

Lewis Hamilton, winner in 2011 and twice on pole at the circuit, was second quickest for Mercedes in the opening session, just 0.192 slower than Grosjean, and third in the evening.   Continued...

Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany drives during the second practice session of the Canadian F1 Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal June 7, 2013. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi