Red Bull driver Max Verstappen eclipsed the Mercedes of George Russell and the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in FP2 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

One of the first eight drivers to practice for the various ‘rookie’ runs, Verstappen set off quickly at the Yas Marina Circuit, setting a benchmark time of 1m 25.146 on the soft compound tyre.

Read more: Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 in first practice at Yas Marina as youngsters get chance to shine

After running into traffic on the red-marked rubber in the final section, Russell apologized to the engineer and said: “It’s okay.” As long as tomorrow isn’t there!”

Leclerc was a distant tenth in third, closely followed by FP1 pacesetter Hamilton, Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz – the latter of whom took to the track for the first time this weekend and was also involved in a traffic accident.

1


High
Verstappen
VER
Red Bull Racing

1:25.146

2


George
Russell
RUS
Mercedes

+0.341s

3


Charles
Leclerc
LEC
Ferrari

+0.453 s

4


Louis
Hamilton
Ham
Mercedes

+0.615 s

5


Sergio
Perez
as if
Red Bull Racing

+0.706 s

Back in the cockpit alongside Verstappen and Sainz are Lando Norris (McLaren), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Nicolas Latifi (Williams), Fernando Alonso (Alpine), Mick Schumacher (Haas) and Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo).

Alonso and his Sebastian Vettel tribute helmet took eighth place behind teammate Esteban Ocon, while the McLaren pair of Daniel Ricciardo and Norris finished ninth and 11th respectively, sandwiched by Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo in 10th.

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Ricciardo had a difficult session with a wild start through Turn 3 at high speed, prompting him to pit for set-up changes, before reporting problems with a “slippery patch” and stopping at the pit lane marker, followed by an oil spill delay.

Vettel survived a major lockout as he moved up to 12th as the farewell weekend continued, ahead of the other Alfa Romeo of Zhu Guanyue, his teammate Stroll and Yuki Shunoda’s Alfa Tauri.


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Fans were treated to spectacular views as the sun began to set over the Yas Marina Circuit.

Williams’ charge was led by Alex Albon in 16th, with Haas pair Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen taking P17 and P18 respectively – Schumacher’s floor inspection revealed the car had dropped to the tarmac after laps.

Read more: ‘I’ve never been a bad teammate’, says Verstappen after ordering Brazil team talks

Pierre Gasly and Latifi brought up the rear in their Alfatauri and Williams machines, ahead of team-mates Tunoda and Albon, with the field lapped by just over two seconds around the 5.281km circuit.

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