Max Verstappen was back in his car for the second practice session after sitting out from FP1. His vehicle was given to Liam Lawson so that he may carry out the testing duties for Red Bull. Verstappen posted the time of 1:25.146s on soft tyres. George Russell was second fastest for Mercedes, 0.341s off Verstappen’s pace. The season’s last race is gearing up for another battle between Red Bull and Mercedes for a race win. Charles Leclerc was 3rd fastest for Ferrari. However, both Leclerc and his teammate Carlos Sainz struggled for pace on long runs under heavy fuel loads. The Ferrari cars look aggressive on their tyres, something they have struggled with all season. The degradation is undoubtedly a concern for them going into this race.
Verstappen returns to the track for FP2
The session started with Verstappen heading out straight away to make up for missing FP1. Most cars hit the track on medium tyres, while some choose the hards. The evening session clearly shows the actual track conditions of the Yas Mirna Circuit in qualifying and race. Teams focused on their qualifying runs more in FP2. Verstappen, however, bolted soft tyres just 20 minutes into the session and went for faster lap times. Verstappen, however, reported some problems with the brake paddle of his Red Bull.
Lewis Hamilton, at one point, showed his frustrations at Kevin Magnussen when he came straight on his back. The Haas driver was driving slowly on the racing line, and Hamilton came alongside him to signal his lack of awareness on the track. Sebastian Vettel brought out a brief yellow flag as he broke heavily going into Turn 13 and ended up in the run-off area.
Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez finished 4th, 5th and 6th, respectively, behind their teammates. Perez, who is in a battle for second place in the driver’s title with Leclerc, would undoubtedly want to improve on Saturday. Elsewhere, Fernando Alonso and Estaban Ocon finished the session in P7 and P8 for Alpine. Alpine has built a healthy lead from McLaren after the latter got a double DNF in the Brazilian Grand Prix. Barring any major upset, Alpine looks certain to finish the constructor’s table in P4.