With 25 minutes remaining after Verstappen won FP1, Hamilton set the FP2 benchmark of 1m23.691s under the floodlights on soft tyres.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the second practise session of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished fourth. With 25 minutes remaining after Verstappen won FP1, Hamilton set the FP2 benchmark of 1m23.691s under the floodlights on soft tyres, then switched to mediums for his race simulation.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, who had shot up to second place with a lap of 1m24.034s just before Hamilton, was now second by 0.343s – and Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas was third overall by 0.392s after previously drifting into the Turn 12 barriers on his medium-tyred laps. After only 15 minutes of the session, he switched to soft tyres due to the slide.
As a result, Red Bull rounded out the top five, with Verstappen (six-tenths slower than Hamilton) finishing fourth ahead of Sergio Perez in fifth. The championship contender set a competitive time of 1m24.989s during his medium-tyred runs early in the session, then switched to softs for his qualifying simulations before remaining on softs for his long runs. Alpine’s Fernando Alonso finished sixth, eight-tenths off the top spot, highlighting the team’s strong pace.
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Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri was seventh overall, just behind Alonso, while teammate Pierre Gasly was tenth. The Ferraris were sandwiched between them, with Charles Leclerc eighth but three tenths ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz in P9. In contrast to the other drivers, who started on mediums, McLaren’s Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo started on softs. Norris soon had to pit for a new front wing after sustaining damage, but he finished 13th, two tenths ahead of teammate Ricciardo.
Outgoing Alfa Romeo driver Antonio Giovinazzi finished 12th, splitting the McLarens, while teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished 16th after spinning and crashing at Turn 14. He was severely damaged, and a red flag appeared shortly after the chequered flag had flown. Sebastian Vettel of Aston Martin finished 14th, two tenths ahead of teammate Lance Stroll in P15.
Nicholas Latifi finished 18th overall after spinning at Turn 13 after 12 minutes, leaving the left side of his rear wing endplate hanging. George Russell, a Williams teammate who stepped in for reserve driver Jack Aitken in FP1, finished 17th in this session, just over a tenth ahead of Latifi. Mick Schumacher finished P19, nearly six tenths ahead of his teammate, while Haas’ Nikita Mazepin finished P20.