The last practice two session of the season took place as the afternoon in Abu Dhabi faded into the glamorous twilight at the Yas Marina circuit. Nico Rosberg posted the fastest time in the session ahead of Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Pérez in the Force India.
This session saw emphasis on the team’s long run programmes ahead of qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday. Rosberg was one of the busiest drivers of the session in preparation for the Sunday’s race, completing 39 laps in the 90-minute session. Max Verstappen was the only driver to have more, completing an extra lap of the track.
Throughout the session there were plenty of lock-ups and drivers sliding around the track, and many drivers were complaining about graining and an excess of marbles on the circuit which caused a lack of grip. Teams will have to pay close attention to fuel usage this weekend as the circuit has one of the highest fuel consumption rates on the calendar.
Daniel Ricciardo made another appearance in the top five ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kvyat, while Kimi Räikkönen, Nico Hülkenberg, Fernando Alonso and Pastor Maldonado rounded out the top 10.
Many teams in this session took to their pit boxes to do practice starts as they weren’t allowed to do them from the end of the pit lane until the end of the session. This was because of the tunnel pit exit feature of the Yas Marina circuit. Alternatively, many of the drivers sat in their pit boxes to do a practice start.
Carlos Sainz Jr. didn’t have the best of sessions as he stopped out on track at Turn 7 due to another electrical issue. This comes after several DNF’s and problems for the young Spanish Toro Rosso driver during this season.
Close to the end of free practice, Force India’s Sergio Pérez had a fire in the rear brake disc of his car. This wasn’t good news considering the track itself is a heavy braking circuit. The Mexican realised not all was right with the car and got back to the pits quickly before the problem worsened.
Throughout the weekend Lewis Hamilton’s driver number, 44 has been spread across the track and in various areas around the UAE. This, however, is not linked to Hamilton because it is for the 44th day of national celebrations in the UAE.
Hamilton did however help to promote the race in the Middle East, with the number coinciding with the triple World Champion. If Hamilton wins in Abu Dhabi it would be his 44th win, coincidentally alongside the country’s national celebrations.
|2015 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:41.983||39|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:42.121||+ 0.138||31|
|3.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B||1:42.610||+ 0.627||23|
|4.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:42.647||+ 0.664||37|
|5.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:42.717||+ 0.734||35|
|6.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:42.798||+ 0.815||34|
|7.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:42.849||+ 0.866||36|
|8.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B||1:42.928||+ 0.945||35|
|9.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:42.955||+ 0.972||31|
|10.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:43.431||+ 1.448||37|
|11.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:43.441||+ 1.458||32|
|12.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:43.506||+ 1.523||33|
|13.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:43.662||+ 1.679||40|
|14.||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:43.854||+ 1.871||20|
|15.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:43.929||+ 1.946||27|
|16.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:44.050||+ 2.067||32|
|17.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:44.116||+ 2.133||37|
|18.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:45.245||+ 3.262||28|
|19.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B||1:46.450||+ 4.467||35|
|20.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B||1:47.022||+ 5.039||27|
Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas