Lewis Hamilton has ended Free Practice 2 quickest on the time-sheets at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and narrowly outpaces Mercedes team-mate and title-rival Nico Rosberg who takes second and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who completes the top three.
Lewis Hamilton has ended the day as he started it, fastest on the time-sheets in Free Practice 2 as the title fight between the two Mercedes drivers heats up in the season finale at the Abi Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton set the benchmark of a 1:40.861 on the purple-branded Ultra-Soft compounds and was just 0.079 seconds quicker than Mercedes team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was a further 0.269 seconds down in third with the latter suffering a gearbox failure at turn 18.
The two Red Bull’s of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo ended the hour and a half session in fourth and fifth respectively.
Hamilton was looking strong running on the yellow-marked softer tyre longer runs meanwhile Rosberg, Verstappen and Ricciardo who were also on softs, posted similar times at one stage.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen placed sixth in the other SF16-H racer and ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas who took seventh and ahead of Force India pairing Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg who were eighth and ninth respectively.
The other Williams of Felipe Massa completed the top ten as the Brazilian wrapped up the final Friday of his Grand Prix racing career.
The two McLaren-Honda’s of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button after a difficult morning ended the day in 11th and 12th respectively with both Ferrari-powered Haas VF-16’s of Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean following in 13th and 14th with the latter suffering a water pressure issue as his struggles continued.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer placed 15th and in-front of Manor Racing Team duo Esteban Ocon and Pascal Wehrlein who finished 16th and 17th respectively.
The Sauber pairing of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson was 18th and 19th respectively and ahead of Kevin Magnussen’s Renault who ended the day 20th with the latter having a moment at turn eight.
The Toro Rosso duo of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat finished at the rear with the latter once again suffering a puncture on his left-rear tyre as he did in FP1 after spinning at turn 17.
The Full 2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Free Practice 2 Results Classification provided at the link: http://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2016/races/957/abu-dhabi/practice-2.html.
Written by Michael Terminello