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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton strikes back to go quickest in second practice

Lewis Hamilton responded to Max Verstappen's pace in first practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix by clocking the fastest time in FP2.

Hamilton Abu Dhabi
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in second practice at the Yas Marina Circuit, ahead of Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

With darkness setting in at the track, the conditions were far more representative of those that will be seen for qualifying on Saturday and for Sunday's race. Temperatures dropped slightly from the afternoon, with the air temperature down to the mid-20s Celsius, as track temperatures hovered at around 30 degrees.

With the early running taking place on the Medium tyre, it was Hamilton who set the pace on a 1:24.9, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen all but matching that time, only for it to be deleted for exceeding track limits.

While Verstappen regrouped to log a 1:25.0, Hamilton went quicker on the Medium to lower the benchmark to 1:24.1, before swapping to the Soft compound.

Alpine's Esteban Ocon briefly took over at the front as the first of the quicker cars to set a Soft tyre lap, clocking a 1:24.0, but Hamilton smashed that by 0.343s with 15 minutes to go to put in a 1:23.691, before switching back to the Medium to concentrate on race pace.

With Hamilton fastest ahead of Ocon, Valtteri Bottas was a further half a tenth back in the other Mercedes.

Verstappen, despite swapping to the Softs, didn't go much quicker than he managed on the Medium tyre and finished 0.641s away from Hamilton's best time, spending most of the session evaluating the red-marked Pirellis, suggesting the team are exploring a two-stop strategy for the race.

Result Free practice 2 - Abu Dhabi

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Sergio Perez finished off his day in fifth place, just over half a tenth away from the time that Verstappen set, while Alpine's Fernando Alonso continued to show off impressive speed for the French team as they finish the season on a strong note.

Alonso, equipped with the driver's eye-level camera to show off the staggering number of adjustments drivers make over the course of a lap, placed in sixth, just over a tenth away from the Red Bulls, and seven-tenths away from the front.

The Ferrari duo, inseparable of late, placed in eighth and ninth with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz respectively, while AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10 positions.

The session ended with a red flag right as the timer hit zero, as Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen crashed heavily in the final sector.

The Finn, taking part in his final Grand Prix this weekend, lost the rear as he drove under the hotel and went off backwards into the barriers. He was unhurt and clambered out, while the rest of the field returned to the pits, having lost the opportunity to line up and do some practice starts on the grid.

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F1 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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