Abu Dhabi, FP2: Bottas moves to the front

Verstappen 2nd, Ricciardo 3rd


By Olivier Ferret

23 November 2018 - 15:35

Last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winner Valtteri Bottas hit the top of the timesheets at the Yas Marina Circuit, edging FP1’s quickest man, Max Verstappen by just four hundredths of a second, with Daniel Ricciardo third in the second Red Bull.

Bottas set the pace in the opening part of the session, using ultrasoft tyres to hold top spot just over two tenths of a second ahead of Verstappen, who also ran on ultrasofts.

Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen was the first to make the move to hypersoft tyres for a qualifying simulation and the switch immediately vaulted him to the top of the order with a time of 1:37.461. He was followed by team-mate Sebastian Vettel who took second place behind the Finn.

Bottas was winding up for his run, however, and the Mercedes man reclaimed top spot with a lap of 1:37.236s. Five-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton looked like eclipsing his team-mate but an imperfect final sector meant his qualifying sim yielded a time of 1:37.443.

The two tenths of a second gap allowed both Red Bulls to slot between the Mercedes cars, with Verstappen beating Ricciardo to P2 by 0.148s.

With Hamilton ahead of the two Ferraris at the end of the session, best of the rest honours went to Haas’ Romain Grosjean. The Frenchman finished the 90 minutes with a best time of 1:38.060, eight tenths of a second off Bottas’ pace. Nico Hulkenberg took eight place for Renault, with the German being the last min within a second of Bottas’ best time.

Ninth place in the session went to Kevin Magnussen in the second Haas. The Dane finished 1.082 off the pace with Racing Point Force India’s Esteban Ocon just eight hundredths of a second further back in 10th place.

01 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG 1:37.236 37
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:37.280 32
03 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:37.428 31
04 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:37.443 35
05 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:37.461 40
06 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:37.569 39
07 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:38.060 30
08 Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 1:38.230 36
09 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:38.318 30
10 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:38.402 33
11 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:38.506 32
12 Carlos Sainz Renault F1 1:38.511 37
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 1:38.725 35
14 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:38.806 31
15 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:38.831 33
16 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso Honda 1:38.957 35
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:39.502 36
18 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 1:39.938 18
19 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:40.046 33
20 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:40.935 39


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