Valtteri Bottas led FP2 in dominant fashion today at Yas Marina, despite being involved in an accident with Romain Grosjean in the closing stages of the session. Lewis Hamilton followed his teammate, 0.310s off the pace, and Charles Leclerc completed the top 3 at a mere 0.076s behind the six-time world champion.
Leclerc kissed the wall at Turn 19, where Vettel lost the car and hit the barriers earlier today in FP1. The SF90 number 16 turned out to have no damage after Leclerc’s mistake, hence the driver continued smoothly with his FP2 programme.
Giovinazzi spun into Turn 19 as well in the early stages of FP2, but managed to crawl back to the pits.
Drama occurred throughout the session, as Grosjean and Bottas were involved in a controversial clash with 20 minutes left to the end of the session. The two collided at Turn 12, bringing the session to a halt owing to the debris on track. Both cars also suffered significant damage on the floor and the sidepods. The Frenchman is running a pre-season spec floor at Abu Dhabi, which was damaged in the crash.
Max Verstappen and Alex Albon completed a rather uneventful practice, and they respectively set the 5th and the 6th fastest laptimes. Romain Grosjean, despite the mishap, emerged as the 7th quickest ahead of Perez, Kvyat and Gasly rounding up the top 10. From P7 to P18 there is less than a second of gap, showing how tight the midfield contention is. Haas are looking sharp for the weekend, as well as Racing Point’s Sergio Perez and the Toro Rosso drivers, lapping on the same pace as Grosjean.
As it emerged from FP1 and FP2, the Soft tyre seemingly lasts for one flying lap.
As for the long runs, Lewis Hamilton appears to be the most consistent as well as the quickest, whereas Ferrari and Red Bull seem slightly slower and rather even. Abu Dhabi is a fairly suitable track for the Mercedes racecar, and this year it will not be much different looking at the way the Silver Arrows just blitzed the opposition.