Max Verstappen fastest in the first, Hamilton in the second free practice

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Max Verstappen fastest in the first, Hamilton in the second free practice

Lewis Hamilton drove the best time in the second free practice for the Abu Dhabi GP, where he was more than three tenths faster than Esteban Ocon in the Alpine, and the Red Bull drivers finished only fourth and fifth. Drivers started their second free practice mainly on medium tires except Raikkonen in Alfa Romeo (hard) and driver McLaren (soft) as medium tires were not used too much in the first training.

Hamilton runs the first lap in a time of 1: 25.127, and 15 minutes later the current world champion significantly improves his best time to 1: 24.126 which is almost a second faster than the fastest time in his first practice.

Bottas drives second-best time in the soft, 0.146 seconds behind Hamilton's time, and Alonso in Alpine ten minutes later drives only 0.099 seconds slower than Hamilton, although that lap was later annulled due to too wide a pass of the last corner.

With the best third sector on soft, Bottas drove a new best time, 0.043 s ahead of Hamilton, and Hamilton on soft tires drives the best second sector and finishes second, 0.021 s behind Bottas. Verstappen personally drove the top three sectors on soft tires and finished third fastest, 0.249 seconds behind Bottas, with two-tenths of the lag coming from the third sector.

Ocon drives a new best time for Alpine with the best second sector (1: 24.034), and Bottas drives the best times in the first two sectors before a braking error for the 12th corner after which he dropped his fast lap.

Best time

On the same set of soft tires, Hamilton drove the new best time with the best first sector (1: 23.691) and was 0.343 seconds faster than Ocon at Alpine.

Drivers then focused on testing more fuel in preparation for the race so we saw no improvement on the list of best times, and Hamilton finished fastest ahead of Ocon and Bottas. Verstappen failed to get the most out of the car in one quick lap on soft tires so he finished only fourth, 0.641 seconds behind Hamilton, and Perez was fifth in the second Red Bull, six hundredths behind his teammate.

Alonso confirmed Alpine's good form in sixth place after his fastest lap of 1: 24.225 was annulled due to the wide passage of the last corner, and Tsunoda was the faster driver of AlphaTauri in seventh place. Ferrari drivers Leclerc and Sainz were eighth and ninth, as in the first free practice, with Leclerc being three-tenths faster than his teammate.

Gasly finished tenth in the second AlphaTauri ahead of Ricciardo as the faster McLaren driver and Giovinazzi as the faster Alfa Romeo driver while Norris was only 13th in the second McLaren The third free practice is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m., and qualifying begins at 2 p.m.