Mercedes and Red Bull share practice spoils in Abu Dhabi
Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen shared the spoils following the opening day’s running ahead of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Finn topped the second session for Mercedes following on from a Red Bull one-two in the opening practice session.
Bottas headed the timesheets early in Practice 2 only for Kimi Raikkonen to better the Mercedes driver’s time inside the opening half hour.
He was relegated further by Sebastian Vettel in the sister Ferrari to Raikkonen before reclaiming top spot with a 1:37.236s lap.
Verstappen came close to matching Bottas’ lap, surviving a scare as he ran wide over the kerbs at Turn 20 and bottomed the car out and skidded along the sausage kerb on its plank.
The Dutchman damaged his front wing and plank in the incident but was otherwise unscathed.
Behind the leading three teams, Romain Grosjean was best of the rest for Haas, leaving Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and team-mate Kevin Magnussen in ninth.
Rounding out the top 10 in Practice 2 was Esteban Ocon for Force India, dropping back from fifth in the opening session.
Red Bull topped the opening session with Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo the fastest two runners courtesy of efforts on the softest hypersoft tyres.
Their program left them running the fastest compound tyres in the second half of the session while Ferrari went in the other direction, leaving Raikkonen and Vettel just seventh and eighth.
The two Red Bulls ended the session almost a second clear of Bottas in third, who was the quickest of the two Mercedes runners.
Ocon was fifth fastest from Magnussen in sixth, the top 10 was rounded out by Carlos Sainz for Renault and Grosjean in the second Haas.
Also taking to the circuit was Robert Kubica who stepped into Sergey Sirotkin’s Williams, the car he’s set to drive next season, to set the slowest time of the 20 runners.
Sauber sported Antonio Giovinazzi, the Italian who will partner Raikkonen at the team next year, who replaced Charles Leclerc for the 90 minute session to end it 16th.
Final practice follows on Saturday before qualifying which is scheduled to begin at midnight AEDT.
Results: Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Practice 2
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Renault||1:37.280||+0.044s|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Renault||1:37.428||+0.192s|
|7||Romain Grosjean||Haas Renault||1:38.060||+0.824s|
|9||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Renault||1:38.318||+1.082s|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:38.402||+1.166s|
|11||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso Honda||1:38.506||+1.270s|
|13||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:38.725||+1.489s|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:38.806||+1.570s|
|15||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:38.831||+1.595s|
|16||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso Honda||1:38.957||+1.721s|
|17||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:39.502||+2.266s|
|18||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:39.938||+2.702s|
|19||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:40.046||+2.810s|
|20||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:40.935||+3.699s|
Results: Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Practice 1
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Renault||01:38.491|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Renault||1:38.945||+0.454s|
|5||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:40.102||+1.611s|
|6||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:40.235||+1.744s|
|10||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:40.663||+2.172s|
|11||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso Honda||1:40.671||+2.180s|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:41.075||+2.584s|
|14||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso Honda||1:41.137||+2.646s|
|15||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:41.493||+3.002s|
|16||Antonio Giovinazzi||Sauber Ferrari||1:41.662||+3.171s|
|17||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:41.928||+3.437s|
|18||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:42.114||+3.623s|
|19||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:42.313||+3.822s|
|20||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:42.992||+4.501s|