FP2: Verstappen leads Russell and Leclerc in Abu Dhabi’s twilight second practice.
During FP2 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which took place in more representative evening conditions, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen outpaced Mercedes driver George Russell and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.
Verstappen, one of eight drivers who sat out first practice for various ‘rookie’ runs, got up to speed quickly at the Yas Marina Circuit, producing a benchmark time of 1m 25.146s on the soft compound tyre.
Russell finished three-tenths back after hitting traffic in the final sector of his push lap on the red-marked rubber, prompting an apology from his engineer, to which he responded, “No problemo. As long as it doesn’t show up tomorrow!”
Leclerc was another tenth back in third, followed by FP1 leader Hamilton, Sergio Perez, and Carlos Sainz – the latter also making his track debut this weekend and being held up by traffic.
Ricciardo had a difficult session, which began with a wild moment through the high-speed Turn 3, prompting him to pit for set-up changes, before reporting difficulty stopping on his marks in the pit lane due to a “slippery patch” and then being delayed by an oil leak.
Vettel survived a massive lock-up en route to 12th place as his farewell weekend continued, edging out Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo, teammate Stroll, and Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri.
Williams was led by Alex Albon in 16th, with Haas’ Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen taking P17 and P18, respectively, with Schumacher pitting for floor checks after replays showed his car bouncing across the tarmac.
Pierre Gasly and Latifi finished behind teammates Tsunoda and Albon in their AlphaTauri and Williams machines, with the field covered by just over two seconds around the 5.281km circuit.
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