Formula 1 Racing

Verstappen fastest in Abu Dhabi GP practice

Verstappen fastest in Abu Dhabi GP practice

MercedesLewis Hamilton was fastest in FP1, held in full daylight conditions, before Verstappen topped FP2 as darkness descended.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix FP1 results: Hamilton fastest from Russell

What happened in Abu Dhabi GP Free Practice 1?

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez set the early bar at 1m28.159s on soft tyres, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and the first of the seven FP1 ‘rookies’ Liam Lawson, who was in for Max Verstappen at Red Bull and was fastest of the hard-tyred cars at the time.

Leclerc improved the P1 time to 1m27.917s before Perez beat that by 0.064s, as the two drivers who are locked together on points for second in the championship swapped the top spot.

Logan Sargeant (Williams) and Pietro Fittipaldi (Haas) jumped up to third and fourth just before half distance, Sargeant then spinning off at Turn 1 but just keeping it out of the wall.

Alex Albon (Williams) had a spell at the top of the times with 1m27.840s, before Perez retook it with 1m26.967s and Leclerc then lowered it to 1m26.888s.

Hamilton took P1 with 15 minutes to go with 1m26.633s, which remained the quickest time of the session, as George Russell went P2, two tenths off his teammate. Leclerc stayed third, ahead of Perez.

Lawson was fifth, and top rookie, ahead of Sebastian Vettel – at the other end of his F1 career in his final race weekend – for Aston Martin and Ferrari reserve Robert Shwartzman.

Of the other FP1 irregulars, Robert Kubica was 14th for Alfa Romeo, ahead of Sargeant, Fittipaldi, Pato O’Ward (McLaren), Jack Doohan (Alpine) and Felipe Drugovich (Aston Martin).

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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix FP2 results: Verstappen fastest from Russell

What happened in Abu Dhabi GP Free Practice 2?

As the sun began to set, Leclerc made the early going at 1m26.045s – already faster than FP1 despite running medium tyres – ahead of Esteban Ocon’s Alpine and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari).

After missing FP1, Verstappen was first to use softs in this session, immediately jumping up to P1 with 1m25.449s and then lowering it to 1m25.335s. Perez went P2, half a second off, before Leclerc got to within 0.264s of Verstappen.

Russell grabbed P2, 0.152s off the pace, with Hamilton going fourth but setting the fastest first sector.

Verstappen ran again and reduced his laptime to 1m25.146s, putting him over three tenths clear with 20 minutes remaining under the floodlights. Russell stayed second, ahead of Leclerc, Hamilton, Perez and Sainz.

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