Hamilton fastest in Abu Dhabi practice

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The Independent Online

Lewis Hamilton vowed to give it his all ahead of this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the McLaren star certainly left nothing out on the track in today's practice sessions.

Needing a victory to stand any chance of winning his second Formula One world title, Hamilton has nothing left to lose in comparison to his three title rivals.



After finishing second to Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in the first 90-minute session, Hamilton blazed his way to the top as twilight and eventually darkness set in across the Yas Marina circuit.



The 2008 world champion, currently trailing Fernando Alonso in the standings by 24 points, finished with a stunning lap of one minute 40.888secs in his McLaren. 0.257secs ahead of Vettel.



Hamilton, though, faces an investigation by the stewards after an incident with Bruno Senna in which he appeared to chop across the Hispania driver.



On a hot lap, Hamilton was initially forced to run wide around the final corner as a slowing Senna had eased off near the entrance to the pit lane.



In an apparent fit of pique, Hamilton then instantly dived in front of the Brazilian and into the pit lane, a manoeuvre the stewards are to take another look at.



Hamilton and Vettel clearly enjoy this track as the former was on pole last year, whilst the latter went onto win the race after the Briton had retired with a mechanical problem.



Behind them came the leading two title contenders, with Alonso in his Ferrari finishing 0.426secs off Hamilton and just a thousandth of a second ahead of his closest championship challenger in Mark Webber in his Red Bull.



For a moment there was the sight of a Ferrari crawling to a halt 23 minutes from the end of the run that likely quickened a few pulses in both the Ferrari and Red Bull garages.



With Alonso using his final engine for the season that apparently has little life left in yet, Red Bull's potential joy was shortlived however as it was Felipe Massa who was forced to stop.



The Brazilian ultimately finished sixth overall behind Renault's Robert Kubica, who was again the best of the rest as in the first session.



Massa sandwiched the Renaults as Vitaly Petrov was seventh, 1.2secs down, with Jenson Button a lowly eighth as he again struggled with brake issues.



It is understood, however, he is a guinea pig for a new system McLaren are hoping to crack for next season.



Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi was in eighth, followed by Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher, with Senna at the back of the field, 6.5secs behind Hamilton.



Earlier in the day there was the remarkable sight of a 20-minute downpour that hit the track in a country that sees precious little rain all year.



That occurred 90 minutes before a first session that started on a damp circuit, although other than installation laps all the drivers waited around 45 minutes for it to dry before venturing back out.

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