In a sun-soaked Yas Marina, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc claimed the fastest lap in the second free practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, narrowly edging out McLaren’s Lando Norris. The session saw close competition, with the top five drivers separated by just over three-tenths of a second, setting the stage for an intriguing qualifying battle.
Catch up quick:
- Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari set the pace with a 1:24.809s lap, taking the top spot in FP2.
- Lando Norris showed McLaren’s potential by clocking in just 0.043s behind Leclerc, hinting at a strong weekend for the team.
- Defending champion Max Verstappen finished third for Red Bull, closely followed by Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and teammate Sergio Pérez.
- Mercedes’ duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton landed in the sixth and eighth positions, respectively, with less than a second separating the top 18 drivers.
The second practice session at Yas Marina Circuit was a testament to the competitive spirit of Formula 1, with drivers pushing their machines to the limit under the Abu Dhabi sun. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc managed to squeeze out a blistering lap that put him at the forefront, but the margins were razor-thin, with McLaren’s Lando Norris breathing down his neck, separated by an almost negligible gap.
Max Verstappen, who has had a dominant season, found himself in a tight spot, finishing third and showing that Red Bull has some work to do if they want to maintain their edge. Valtteri Bottas’ performance was a pleasant surprise, placing his Alfa Romeo in fourth and proving that the midfield teams are more than capable of stirring the pot.
Sergio Pérez, often in Verstappen’s shadow, demonstrated his own prowess by rounding out the top five, keeping the pressure on the leaders. Meanwhile, Mercedes, a team that has experienced its fair share of ups and downs this season, had a mixed session with George Russell outperforming his celebrated teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Further down the order, the results reflected a tight midfield battle, with less than a second covering the top 18 drivers. This promises a closely contested qualifying session, where any slip-up could cost dearly. The backmarkers, Williams and Haas, struggled to keep pace, with rookie Logan Sargeant and veteran Nico Hülkenberg at the bottom of the timing sheets.
Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari had a challenging session, completing only four laps due to undisclosed issues, placing him in the nineteenth spot and leaving questions about Ferrari’s reliability.
As the teams pore over the data and strategize for the next sessions, fans can look forward to a thrilling qualifying round. With the pecking order so closely matched, the stage is set for a spectacular showdown under the lights of the Yas Marina Circuit.