Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton takes top spot ahead of Sebastian Vettel in FP2
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News November 24, 2017 Updated: 10:22 PM
ABU DHABI -- Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to the top of the timesheet in the second free practice session for Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
"It’s relatively close still, but I like that. Especially for this weekend, I’ve got a helmet with gold leaf for the World Championship, which I’m really grateful for," said Hamilton.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo finished third and was 0.303 off from Vettel. Ricciardo also got caught behind Haas driver Romain Grosjean. Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth leaving Ricciardo sandwiched between the two red cars.
"I think it’s still Friday numbers unfortunately, as we were ahead of one Ferrari and one Mercedes today. We expect them to be quick tomorrow, so if we have the same pace tomorrow as we had today I expect them to jump us. We still need to find a bit more speed," said Ricciardo.
Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas finished fifth along with Max Verstappen who finished sixth in the second Red Bull. Force India finished free practice two strong. Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were in sync with each other as both drivers ran a time of 1:39.323 and finished seventh and eight.
Renault's Nico Hulkenberg finished ninth with McLaren's Fernando Alonso in tenth. Outside the top ten, Williams Felipe Massa split the two McLaren's in 11th as Alonso's teammate Stoffel Vandoorne finished 12th.
"I think it was a normal Friday to be honest, I was trying to get a feel for the car and tyres. I did some good lap times too. I didn’t feel that anything was different or strange today compared with any other Friday, but maybe when we get to the first race of next season I will miss this, the competition, and everything else," said Massa.
Carlos Sainz took 13th in the second Renault. Lance Stroll finished 14th in the second Williams after running wide twice at Turn 19 during the session. Pierre Gasly finished in 15th for Toro Rosso.
“Overall, it’s been a positive and productive day. We managed to have two trouble-free practice sessions and did plenty of laps, which meant we were able to complete the program as we wanted, which is great. During this afternoon’s FP2, I felt good on the supersofts, but then on the ultra we didn’t manage to improve, which means we need to work on the tyres and try and improve this," said Gasly.
Haas' Kevin Magnussen finished 16th for the American team ahead of Sauber drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson in 17th and 18th.
After the session, Wehrlein said, "Generally, I was able to run a good number of laps, which is positive. The second free practice session was more relevant with regard to qualifying and the race, as the track conditions will be similar tomorrow and on Sunday."
Rounding out the bottom of the order were Brendon Hartley, who had a bit of a difficult session in the second Toro Rosso finishing 19th after a spin at Turn 1. Hartley will also have to receive a penalty after tomorrow's qualifying for an engine component change. Romain Grosjean finished 20th in the second Haas after the team detected an electrical issue in his car.