Abu Dhabi on Friday and Lewis Hamilton has produced an early dent in Nico Rosberg's aspirations to snap up victory on his way to World Championship success this weekend, allowing Mercedes to top the timesheets in both sessions ahead of the ever improving Red Bull team and former World Champion Sebastian Vettel in his Scuderia Ferrari. With all to play for in the 21st and final round of this year's championship battle, Hamilton has drawn first blood on a track that has traditionally played to the strengths of Nico Rosberg's driving style in recent seasons. Hamilton must win on Sunday with Rosberg outside the podium places to be in with a shout of securing his fourth World Championship success (full title permutations below), a tall order for a driver up against a teammate he's never beaten on this track save for mechanical issues affecting Rosberg in 2014. Once again the Red Bull team seem to be Mercedes nearest challengers in Abu Dhabi, with both Verstappen and Riccardo clocking times close to the Silver Arrows and showing signs of positive long run pace throughout the day. Outside of the championship fight both Alfonso Celis (Force India) and Jordan King (Manor) enjoyed seat time during the morning session, with Celis impressing onlookers as he produced a mature performance to bring home his Force India just outside the top ten in eleventh place. Free Practice 1 Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 42.869s 2. Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 43.243s 3. Max Verstappen NED Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1m 43.297s 4. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1m 43.362s 5. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 44.005s 6. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes 1m 44.155s 7. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 44.556s 8. Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 44.685s 9. Felipe Massa BRA Williams-Mercedes 1m 45.039s 10. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari 1m 45.168s 11. Alfonso Celis MEX Force India-Mercedes 1m 45.476s 12. Romain Grosjean FRA Haas-Ferrari 1m 45.600s 13. Felipe Nasr BRA Sauber-Ferrari 1m 45.778s 14. Esteban Gutierrez MEX Haas-Ferrari 1m 45.925s 15. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes 1m 45.940s 16. Jolyon Palmer GBR Renault-Renault 1m 46.219s 17. Kevin Magnussen DEN Renault-Renault 1m 46.372s 18. Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda 1m 46.379s 19. Pascal Wehrlein GER MRT-Mercedes 1m 46.458s 20. Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda 1m 47.127s 21. Jordan King GBR MRT-Mercedes 1m 47.558s 22. Daniil Kvyat RUS Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2m 01.989s Free Practice 2 Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 40.861s 2. Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 40.940s 3. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 41.130s 4. Max Verstappen NED Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1m 41.389s 5. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1m 41.390s 6. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 41.464s 7. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes 1m 41.959s 8. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes 1m 42.041s 9. Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India-Mercedes 1m 42.264s 10. Felipe Massa BRA Williams-Mercedes 1m 42.268s 11. Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda 1m 42.366s 12. Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda 1m 42.823s 13. Esteban Gutierrez MEX Haas-Ferrari 1m 43.012s 14. Romain Grosjean FRA Haas-Ferrari 1m 43.108s 15. Jolyon Palmer GBR Renault-Renault 1m 43.272s 16. Esteban Ocon FRA MRT-Mercedes 1m 43.600s 17. Pascal Wehrlein GER MRT-Mercedes 1m 43.754s 18. Felipe Nasr BRA Sauber-Ferrari 1m 43.903s 19. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari 1m 44.045s 20. Kevin Magnussen DEN Renault-Renault 1m 44.117s 21. Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 44.478s 22. Daniil Kvyat RUS Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 45.948s As a reminder for those who may need refreshing on the championship permutations heading in to the final Grand Prix - Rosberg will win the 2016 crown if... He finishes on the podium in Abu Dhabi (regardless of where Hamilton finishes) He finishes sixth or higher, and Hamilton doesn't win He finishes eighth or higher, and Hamilton is no higher than third Hamilton finishes fourth or lower (regardless of where Rosberg finishes) Hamilton, therefore, must finish within the top four to stand any chance of snatching the championship - but even then he needs a helping hand from Rosberg. Fundamentally, the Briton's hopes can be summarised as: Hamilton will win the 2016 crown if... He triumphs, and Rosberg is fourth or lower He finishes second, and Rosberg finishes outside the top six He finishes third, and Rosberg finishes outside the top eight All will be revealed on Sunday afternoon... The Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment is the place to go for all the latest news and discussions regarding the world of Grand Prix racing. Head over and join in the discussion as the fight for the 2016 World Championship comes to its final showdown. How do you think the title protagonists are shaping up heading in to the final qualifying session of the season tomorrow? Who do you think will win the championship on Sunday? Let us know in the comments section below!