Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won the first round in Formula One's four-way title fight on Friday with the fastest lap in opening practice for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Vettel, the 23-year-old German who won at Yas Marina last year and could become the sport's youngest world champion on Sunday, lapped the anti-clockwise circuit with a best time of one minute 42.760 seconds.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was second quickest on the timing screens, 0.609 seconds slower than Vettel, with team mate and 2009 champion Jenson Button third but 1.025 seconds off the pace.
Vettel's team mate Mark Webber, second in the overall standings and eight points behind Ferrari's leasder Fernando Alonso, was fourth.
Spaniard Alonso, who will take his third title if he finishes in the top two regardless of who wins the race, lapped sixth quickest.
If the race were to finish in the same order then Vettel would win the title but, with the track doused by a rare desert rainstorm 90 minutes before the start of the session, times meant little and anything could happen on Sunday.
Few cars ventured out on the track in the first half hour of the largely incident-free 90 minute session, with the surface still damp. Hamilton left his first timed lap until just 18 minutes from the end.