ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg set the fastest times in Friday's opening practice session for the season-ending Formula One race in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton's best lap was a tenth of a second ahead of Rosberg at the Yas Marina circuit, continuing Mercedes' season-long dominance.
Hamilton set the pace despite complaining over the team radio early in the session that he felt his seat was out of place, and saying late in the session that "the car's not feeling good."
Although he has already secured the drivers' championship, Hamilton will be aiming to end the late-season surge of Rosberg, who has won the past two races and five straight pole positions.
Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were third and fifth, respectively, split by Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat.
The six best times behind the Mercedes cars were separated by only four tenths of a second. But the session was conducted in the afternoon heat while qualifying and the race will take place early in the cooler evening, affecting car performance.
Force India drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were sixth and eighth, with Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo in seventh. Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado and Williams driver Felipe Massa rounded out the top 10.
Stand-in Lotus driver Jolyon Palmer could only take part in the closing stages of the session because of a water leak on the car. Lotus' cars and equipment were late to arrive at the circuit on Thursday as the team fights against severe financial trouble.