Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2022: Max Verstappen dominates second practice

Red Bull driver gave over his ride in the first session, but showed no sign of being any the worse for it as darkness fell at Yas Marina Circuit

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Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen showed he wasn’t going to take it easy at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, completely dominating Friday's second practice session.

As darkness fell over Yas Marina Circuit the Red Bull driver worked his way up the leaderboard rapidly, with none of his competitors coming too close to challenging him.

Despite suffering a couple of unintentional skids early on and reporting braking issues to his crew, this seemed to make little difference to double world champion's performance.

His dominance overshadows a surprisingly positive result for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in the earlier practice session.

Things were looking good for the Mercedes pair this afternoon, but, despite Russell harrying Verstappen on the leaderboard, neither driver was able to better their Dutch competitor.

The Red Bull driver ended up with a best-lap time of 1:26.146, with Russell 0.341 behind.

Verstappen did not take part in the first practice, giving over his ride to Red Bull’s development driver Liam Lawson.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc managed to take third in the second session, bettering championship runner-up rival Sergio Perez. The Mexican managed fifth place, just behind Hamilton.

For his part, Hamilton had a shaky start, appearing to nearly collide with a much slower Haas of Kevin Magnussen right at the start, a situation clearly proving highly frustrating for the seven-time world champion.

Leclerc’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz stayed steady throughout the session, posting some good lap times early on. He ended up doing enough to secure sixth place.

Alpine teammates Esteban Icon and Fernando Alonso improved on their earlier times to take seventh and eighth respectively.

Kudos to McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo after he experienced problems early on, following a brief loss of control that resulted in his pit crew needing to replace the car’s rear suspension. He managed to secure ninth position, just one down from his achievement in the earlier session.

Valtteri Bottas of Alfa Romeo also managed to keep his top 10 placing, though this time at the bottom of the pile.

Saturday’s F1 racing begins with the third practice session at 2.30pm, followed by the qualifying session at 6pm. The first race though will be the F4 UAE opener at 12.20pm.

Updated: November 18, 2022, 2:40 PM
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