Lewis Hamilton has stayed ahead of his championship-leading team mate Nico Rosberg in the second practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion clocked his quickest lap of 1:40.861 to beat Rosberg’s best effort by just 0.079 seconds, while Sebastian Vettel was two and a half tenths off the pace in third for Ferrari.
While he finished best of the rest in second practice, Vettel ran into trouble towards the end of the session when he pulled to the side of the track after his gearbox failed, leaving him to watch the remainder of practice stood behind the barriers.
The two Red Bulls were next in the order with Max Verstappen edging Daniel Ricciardo by 0.001 seconds for fourth position, although both drivers reported a loss of power at different points during the practice session.
While they may have finished two-tenths slower than Vettel’s Ferrari, both Verstappen and Ricciardo were quick on their race simulations and were matching the times set by the two Mercedes drivers, which could bring them into play as Rosberg fights off Hamilton for the championship on Sunday.
Kimi Raikkonen finished FP2 in sixth position and was the last driver within a second of Hamilton’s benchmark, as Valtteri Bottas in seventh was over a second off the pace.
Toro Rosso was forced to sit the majority of second practice out as Daniil Kvyat again suffered a left rear puncture, which sent him into a spin at Turn 16 at high speed. Since the same incident happened in the first practice session, the team brought Carlos Sainz into the garage while they investigated what caused the two punctures.
Romain Grosjean was another driver to run into a second successive problem, as Haas informed the Frenchman he had to return to the pits due to a water pressure problem. Grosjean also reported that he was still suffering issues in the rear of his car with the right rear suspension, leaving the Haas driver with just 17 laps under his belt.
The two Force Indias fared well in second practice as Sergio Perez led team mate Nico Hulkenberg to finish eighth and ninth respectively, while Williams’ Felipe Massa completed the top 10 1.4 seconds off the pace.
Image via XPB Images