What shocked Red Bull even more: Because the Briton’s first attempts were unsuccessful, Hamilton set his fastest time on soft tires that were already six laps old. And even the strong Alpine give Verstappen and Co. headaches: Even before Valtteri Bottas in the second Mercedes, Esteban Ocon lands in second place. Verstappen only finished fourth and even benefits from the fact that Fernando Alonso has to cancel the fastest lap because he exceeded the track limits.
At Mercedes, the mood is correspondingly euphoric: “That was a good day. I like the changes to the course, they make the track better and ensure a nice flow,” says Hamilton. Regarding the performance, he explains: “We made a few changes for the second session, that worked out well. We took positive steps with the setup. I think it will be tight again, like in the last races, but me feel great. “
The mood at Red Bull is a bit more depressed: “It’s going to be a long night. We have to straighten the balance on the short run and find more pace. They look very strong,” explains team boss Christian Horner, who is facing the next disaster after Friday Regarding Mercedes schwant: “Your engine will give you even more performance tomorrow, so we have to somehow get our time differently in order to qualify as far up front as possible. The form is now very clear with Lewis and Mercedes, but we still have this one chance. “
After the first impressions, Verstappen also admits: “We’re still learning, but of course the short run didn’t go according to plan, so we’re lacking some pace.” At least the Dutchman states: “The long runs were a little better and that is also important.” After every five laps on their sets of tires, Verstappen is one second ahead of Hamilton with average times of 1: 28.1 – the Mercedes driver, however, used the slower medium, Verstappen the soft rubbers.
Kimi Räikkönen ensures a red flag on Friday when the clock runs out at the end of the session. The Finn, who will contest his 349th and final Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, crashes out of the hotel passage and dismantles his Alfa-Romeo: “I’ve lost the rear end,” Räikkönen radioed to his team after the impact (based on his most famous radio message) with the words “Dear Kimi, we leave you alone now”, has stuck a farewell greeting on the car.
Formula 1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi
2. Free practice:
2. Esteban Ocon (France) – Alpine +0.343 sec.
3. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) – Mercedes +0.392
4. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – Red Bull +0.641
5. Sergio Perez (Mexico) – Red Bull +0.709
6. Fernando Alonso (Spain) – Alpine +0.804
7. Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) – Alpha Tauri +0.841
8. Charles Leclerc (Monaco) – Ferrari +0.866
9. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spain) – Ferrari +1,153
10. Pierre Gasly (France) – Alpha Tauri +1.249
11. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) – McLaren +1.268
12. Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy) – Alfa Romeo +1.417
13. Lando Norris (UK) – McLaren +1.462
14. Sebastian Vettel (Heppenheim) – Aston Martin +1.504
15. Lance Stroll (Canada) – Aston Martin +1,694
16. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) – Alfa Romeo +1.749
17. George Russell (Great Britain) – Williams +1.858
18. Nicholas Latifi (Canada) – Williams +1.996
19. Mick Schumacher (Gland / Switzerland) – Haas +2.093
20. Nikita Mazepin (Russia) – Haas +2,645
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