Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel outpaced current world champion Lewis Hamilton by 0.12s in the first open practice session at the Yas Marinas circuit.
Running on Pirelli’s ultrasofts, Vettel clocked his quickest lap time of 1m39.006s in the first 90-minute window.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen came in third 0.148 seconds behind the pacesetter, followed by Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen running 0.326s behind the Red Bull driver.
Hamilton set the early pace in the race with the fastest lap time of 1m41.135s on soft tyres as teammate Valtteri Bottas focused on supersofts.
Räikkönen’s Ferrari was fitted with a 2018’s experimental Red Bull-style diffuser and clocked his quickest on the ultrasofts. He then improved his timing to 1m39.741s, only to be demoted by Hamilton and Bottas who switched to ultrasofts just before the 45-minute mark.
Bottas finished the race at fifth, staying ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez, by almost half a second.
Fernando Alonso could not set a lap time until the second half of the practice. He ended the race at seventh, running ultrasoft tyres.
The Spaniard was followed by his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne who was just 0.037s behind the two-time world champion.
Running his final set of F1 practice sessions, Williams’s driver Felipe Massa came ninth followed by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo taking the 10th place.
George Russell got a chance to drive Esteban Ocon’s Force India and came at 11th while Antonio Giovinazzi borrowed Kevin Magnussen’s Haas and ended the session at 18th.
Renault duo Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg ran 15th and 17th respectively, but both drivers choose not to run on ultrasofts.