Four time world champion Lewis Hamilton headed Sebastian Vettel during second practice for the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as Red Bull closed in on the leading duo.
Lewis Hamilton’s fastest lap was a 1.37.877s, which set him 0.149s clear of former championship rival Sebastian Vettel.
The Briton led the way during both super-soft and ultra-soft tyre runs during Abu Dhabi’s practice, whilst Vettel — who headed the afternoon session — played second fiddle to this years F1 world champion.
Red Bull had good pace through the session, and clearly led the way during the final section, however the long straights once again put their charge on hold, as Ricciardo finished third fastest, and was 0.3s off the pace, whilst Verstappen was a mere second off.
Down at Mercedes and Ferrari, de-facto number two drivers Raikkonen and Bottas didn’t have the pace to match their fast team-mate’s, as the two were 0.475s and 0.660s adrift respectively.
Story of the session
As the light went green, Fernando Alonso was the first to head onto track, quickly followed by Magnussen and Grosjean. Magnussen was first to set a lap, which was a 1.43.511s, however FP1’s pacesetter Sebastian Vettel was quick to pip the Haas drivers to top spot with a 1.49.739s – but his team-mate found 0.5s on his lap.
Hamilton, who was up on Raikkonen in the middle sector, locked up and had to abort his first lap, whilst his team-mate went 0.1s slower than pace-setter Raikkonen.
Stoffel Vandoorne, who was first on the ultra-soft tyres, matched Raikkonen’s fastest time, until Hamilton marched to the top of the order, and was 0.188s clear of nearest challenger Kimi Raikkonen.
As Red Bull found track space, Ricciardo went second fastest on his first attempt, and just 0.040s adrift of Hamilton’s pace-setting lap. But as grip appeared, the Briton found 0.848s to head the order, as his team-mate joined him in second place.
Bottas was first of the front-runners on the ultra-soft, and went fastest by 0.303s over his Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton – who set his time on the super-softs. Hamilton and Vettel soon got on with their laps, as Hamilton went fastest by 0.149s from Vettel.
There were even more struggles for Haas – as Romain Grosjean was sent spinning around yet again in FP2 at the final corner of the Yas Marina circuit.
The Red Bull drivers were late to set their qualifying simulation laps, but Ricciardo went third and just 0.3s off the pace, whilst Verstappen was sixth – one second off Hamilton’s pace-setting laptime.