Max Verstappen was back in the car in FP2, and was immediately in the groove, going fastest of all by over three tenths from second-placed George Russell.
The 2021 and 2022 Formula 1 Champion missed the first practice session as Red Bull ran Liam Lawson as part of the mandatory young drivers track time allocation.
However Verstappen was immediately on the pace, finishing the session fastest of all despite complaining earlier from brake pedal problems.
George Russell confirmed Mercedes’ good form in Abu Dhabi and was second fastest behind the Dutchman, as Charles Leclerc completed the top three in the Ferrari.
However it seems that Ferrari are suffering on their long runs compared to the Red Bulls and Mercedes.
Buildup towards FP2
Mercedes went fastest in FP1, Lewis Hamilton leading George Russell, and while that result is not conclusive of their pace in Abu Dhabi, it’s a good sign that they are in a good place.
With all the young drivers having their 15 minutes of fame in the first practice sessions, all teams where back with their usual driver lineups in FP2, as the serious work of setting up the cars and evaluating the tyres began.
FP2 will take place in the afternoon, similar to Qualifying and the Race which means track and ambient conditions will be very similar which will provide the teams with a good idea on how the tyres will work, and will present us with a glimpse of who’s fast and who’s not.
Abu Dhabi FP2 Session Highlights
Most of the drivers set out on the Medium tyres at the start of FP2, except for Kevin Magnussen, Yuki Tsunoda, Lando Norris, and Valtteri Bottas who were on the Hards.
Lewis Hamilton and Kevin Magnussen had a close call at Turn 6, 15 minutes into the session, the Briton on a fast lap, the Dane on a slow one and apparently unaware of the Mercedes drivers approaching.
Almost twenty minutes into the session, Max Verstappen bolted a set of Soft tyres on his RB18 and went fastest of all, but soon after reported a problem with his brake pedal. “My brake pedal is very bad,” he radioed his team.
Soon after that, other drivers followed suit and started sampling the Soft tyres as well with qualifying simulations.
A few minutes after the halfway mark, Sebastian Vettel brought out a brief Yellow Flag, as he locked up heavily going into Turn 13, ending up in the run-off area with no damage done.
With twenty minutes remaining from the session, the sun sets over the Yas Marina Circuit, and the flood lights were turned on.