Mercedes and Red Bull share practice spoils in Abu Dhabi

Valtteri Bottas pic: Mercedes Twitter

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

Pos Driver Team Time Diff
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:37.236
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull Renault 1:37.280 +0.044s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Renault 1:37.428 +0.192s
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.443 +0.207s
5 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:37.461 +0.225s
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:37.569 +0.333s
7 Romain Grosjean Haas Renault 1:38.060 +0.824s
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:38.230 +0.994s
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
12 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:38.511 +1.275s
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

Pos Driver Team Time Diff
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Renault 01:38.491
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Renault 1:38.945 +0.454s
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:39.452 +0.961s
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:39.543 +1.052s
5 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:40.102 +1.611s
6 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:40.235 +1.744s
7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:40.417 +1.926s
8 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:40.453 +1.962s
9 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:40.588 +2.097s
10 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:40.663 +2.172s
11 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:40.671 +2.180s
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:41.023 +2.532s
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

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