World Champion Nico Rosberg lost the first match with his Mercedes teammate and rival Lewis Hamilton (England) at the Formula One showdown in Abu Dhabi. In the first free workout on Friday morning, the Wiesbaden in his best lap in 1:43243 minutes was almost four tenth seconds slower than his opponent (1:42869).
Rosberg also seems to have to keep an eye on the Red Bull: The Dutch Max Verstappen was in 1:43297 minutes only 0054 seconds slower than Rosberg, the Australian Daniel Ricciardo followed closely behind in 1:43362.
Rosberg takes twelve points lead on Hamilton in the 21st and last Grand Prix of the year (Sunday, 14:00 clock MEZ/RTL). The 31-year-old has won the World Cup title by himself when he reaches third place in the race. At the same time, independent of his own cut, Rosberg would be the third German World Champion to record champion Michael Schumacher (seven titles) and Sebastian Vettel (4), if Hamilton missed the podium.
Vettel, who could not win a race since September 2015 in 26 races, was with his Ferrari as fifth (1:44, 005) already more than 1,1 seconds behind the best time.
Hullkenberg can only arrive in the afternoon
Rookie Pascal Wehrlein completed the first training unit on the 19th place (1:46458). The contract of Worndorfer at Manor expires, yet the 22-year-old has no cockpit for 2017.
Nico Hilkenberg had to leave his cockpit to the Mexican replacement driver Alfonso Celis on his last Grand Prix weekend for Force India. In the afternoon, the Emmericher, who switches to Renault, gets into the car.
The second training on Friday starts at 14am MEZ. Thus, at sunset at the beginning of the unit, drivers have similar conditions to qualifying on Saturday and racing on Sunday.
1. Lewis Hamilton (UK) Mercedes 1:42869 minutes, 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:43243, 3. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red-Bull-Renault 1:43297 4. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red-Bull-Renault 1:43362 5. Sebastian Vettel (Heppenheim) Ferrari 1:44005. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force-India-Mercedes 1:44155 7. Kimi Riding Hoods (Finland) Ferrari 1:44556. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spain) Toro-Rosso-Ferrari 1:44, 685 9. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1:45039 10. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber-Ferrari 1:45168, 11. Alfonso Celis (Mexico) Force India-Mercedes 1:45476 12. Romain Grosjean (France) Haas-Ferrari 1:45600, 13. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber-Ferrari 1:45778 14. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Haas-Ferrari 1:45, 925 15. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1:45940, 16. Jolyon Palmer (United Kingdom) Renault 1:46219 17. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) Renault 1:46372 18. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren-Honda 1:46379 19. Pascal Wehrlein (Worndorf) Manor-Mercedes 1:46458 20. Jenson Button (United Kingdom) McLaren-Honda 1:47, 127 21. Jordan King (United Kingdom) Manor-Mercedes 1:47558 22. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro-Rosso-Ferrari 2:01989