Lotus driver Romain Grosjean continued his good run of form by setting the fastest time during first practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Grosjean’s time of 1:44.241s was almost two tenths of a second faster than Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton.
World champion Sebastian Vettel was third, with team-mate Mark Webber in fourth.
Vettel had a brief scare at the end of the session as he misjudged his entry into his pit box and narrowly missed the crouching Red Bull mechanics.
Nico Rosberg set the fifth fastest time for Mercedes, ahead of 2012 race winner Kimi Raikkonen.
Paul di Resta put his Force India into seventh place, with Jenson Button, Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez rounding out the top 10.
Nico Hulkenberg finished in 11th, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas.
GP2 driver James Calado received another taste of Formula 1 action as he replaced Adrian Sutil. Calado set the 14th quickest time, ahead of Esteban Gutierrez, Jean-Eric Vergne and Felipe Massa.
Daniel Ricciardo was 18th, ahead of Charles Pic and Heikki Kovalainen; Giedo van der Garde will return to the car for second practice.
Jules Bianchi was 21st, almost two seconds ahead of Marussia reserve driver Rodolfo Gonzalez, who drove in place of Max Chilton.
It was a session without any major incident, although several drivers, including Grosjean and Hamilton, struggled under braking for the turn four chicane.