As the sun went down over the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, it was Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team‘s Lewis Hamilton who was quickest in Friday’s Free Practice Two.
This was the first session of the weekend that will be representative of the race on Sunday, with the running taking place as the sun sets, meaning the track and air temperatures are significantly cooler than that of Free Practice One. The teams also use it to do the core of their race simulations.
Hamiton topped the timesheets with a 1.37.877, with Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel slotting into the second fastest spot in what was an uneventful session for both front-runners. Red Bull Racing‘s Daniel Ricciardo improved greatly on his tenth quickest time from Free Practice One to go third fastest in the session, although he did have an angry interaction with Romain Grosjean, who blocked him on the final corner of one of his fast laps.
Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas were fourth and fifth quickest, and Max Verstappen took the sixth fastest spot in what appeared to be a messier session for him. He struggled early on with the Ultra Soft tyres, and his race pace was slower than expected with the Super Soft tyres.
It was both Sahara Force India drivers who once more claimed the best of the rest spots, with Sergio Perez just bettering his team-mate, Esteban Ocon. Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso completed the top ten.
In his last ever Formula One Friday, Williams Martini Racing‘s Felipe Massa put his car in the eleventh fastest spot, just ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne, who had a slide early on in the session. Thirteenth was Carlos Sainz Jr.
Lance Stroll and Pierre Gasly were fourteenth and fifteenth quickest, although the Frenchman was unable to set a quick time on the Ultra Soft compound tyre due to yellow flags caused by Grosjean going off. Sixteenth went to Kevin Magnussen, and the final four fastest times were Pascal Wehrlein, Marcus Ericsson, Brendon Hartley and finally Grosjean, who had a messy Friday, going off in both practice sessions.
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