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Live: F1 Abu Dhabi GP updates - FP1 & FP2

Follow the live action as the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix gets under way on Friday.

The F1 season finale begins with the major honours long decided in favour of Max Verstappen and Red Bull. After Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton confirmed second and third in the drivers' championship, attention turns to the fight for fourth between Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc

In the constructors' table, Mercedes and Ferrari are separated by four points, while there is a fierce battle between Williams, Haas, Alfa Romeo and AlphaTauri for seventh position, with significant financial rewards on offer for triumphing.

FP1 will get under way at 9:30am GMT with FP2 following at 1pm GMT. 

By: Sam Hall, Stephen Lickorish, Haydn Cobb

Summary

  • Leclerc fastest on Friday at the Abu Dhabi GP, as FP2 disrupted by two red-flag stoppages
  • First lengthy delay for Sainz crash and barrier repairs, second for Hulkenberg's spin into the wall
  • Russell comfortably topped FP1 in unrepresentative running
Leaderboard
  1. Leclerc, Ferrari
  2. Norris, McLaren
  3. Verstappen, Red Bull
  4. Bottas, Alfa Romeo
  5. Perez, Red Bull
  6. Russell, Mercedes
  7. Zhou, Alfa Romeo
  8. Hamilton, Mercedes
  9. Gasly, Alpine
  10. Piastri, McLaren
Status: Stopped
And, with that, it completes the final Friday of the 2023 season. Join us just before 1030 GMT tomorrow for the build-up to the last practice of the year. Bye for now.

So, we didn't get much running in that session, but here's our round-up of the little we did have:

https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-abu-dhabi-gp-fp2-report/10551055/

Marshals remove the damaged car of Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, from the circuit after a crash in FP2

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Marshals remove the damaged car of Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, from the circuit after a crash in FP2

Nevertheless, it seems encouraging for Ferrari and McLaren with Leclerc and Norris' times - albeit Ferrari suffering from Sainz's strife.
Verstappen was not entirely comfortable in his Red Bull but the lack of running after Sainz and Hulkenberg's crashes means we're all a little in the dark.
Drivers now complete some practice starts to round out a session that it is very difficult to read much into.
Perez demotes the Mercedes man a place, though, as the second Red Bull now takes fifth spot, just two tenths down on his team-mate Verstappen in third.
Sure enough, Russell goes fifth with that late effort to go two tenths quicker than team-mate Hamilton.
The chequered flag has now gone out and Russell is one of the few drivers who could register a late improvement.
The Dutchman has now posted a time on the soft rubber and he's only third! Is it too much to hope that we have a three-team battle at the front here?
Hairy moment for Verstappen there as he gets caught out by a late call from the team to say Piastri was on a fast lap as the Red Bull driver emerges from the pits on softs.
Hamilton has also improved on softs to move to fifth, but he's still behind the impressive-looking Alfas.
Norris has now bolted on the softs and goes up to second, just 0.05s slower than pacesetter Leclerc.
"The car is jumping like a kangaroo," says Verstappen of the tricky Red Bull in the final sector so clearly not all ideal for the champion.
The Red Bulls now move up to ninth and 12th as they continue on the mediums - but that still leaves them behind Norris, who is the top driver to use the yellow-walled rubber in seventh.
But, if only this was qualifying, as the intriguing top six of Leclerc, Bottas, Gasly, Zhou, Piastri and Ricciardo is a brilliantly random one!
Hamilton and Perez are languishing in 18th and 19th but it's worth noting they're among the few sticking with the medium compound tyres.
We're under the lights now in Abu Dhabi as the sun has truly set as we enter the final 10 minutes of this disjointed session.
Leclerc now jumps to the top of the times on his softs with a 1m24.809s.
Worth noting the top six, with the exception of Norris, have all bolted on the soft tyres here.
Norris is the first to set a time and jumps to the top of the leaderboard with a 1m25.625s, that is quickly beaten by Piastri and then Bottas while Hulkenberg watches on from the sidelines at Turn 1.
Replays show Verstappen almost colliding with the Mercedes drivers in the tunnel and the Red Bull was nearly in the wall there when trying to pass, you guessed it, Hamilton.
More jostling in the tight Abu Dhabi pitlane with Verstappen, in particular, in a rush to get out!
So, take three! We're back under way in FP2
And cue the pitlane queue again! Cars are pouring out of the garages and this time it's Norris who has jumped to the front of the line.
Race control says the session will resume in two minutes, leaving a frantic final 16 minutes. Provided we don't get a further interruption...
A recovery vehicle now arrives to pick up Hulkenberg's car, which has a fair bit of damage to the rear left.
So, when we said earlier about the drivers potentially getting 35 minutes of running in that session, that's instantly gone out of the window. Therefore teams will be going into qualifying very much on the back foot.
"Lost it exit of Turn 1," says Hulkenberg, who just ran ever so slightly wide out of the corner and that sent him spinning hard into the barriers on the inside.
We have another red flag, though! It's Hulkenberg in the wall!
Replays show it did all get a bit close in the pitlane as Ricciardo barged his way ahead of Hamilton into the queue.
Everyone has headed out immediately with the exception of Russell, who tops the times and also was quickest in FP1 earlier.
We're finally green again in Abu Dhabi!
It's Magnussen and Hulkenberg at the front of the queue as the Williams attempt to force their way into the line.
And the pitlane is now resembling the M25 in rush hour as everyone is desperate to be first out.
So, expect a fairly frantic resumption as all the drivers will be keen to get some representative running in.
But, enough history, this session is due to begin in five minutes, therefore leaving just 35 minutes of running in total for the teams - and that's provided there are no further delays.

But it's for two close title deciders that the race is best known for: Vettel's triumph in 2010 and Verstappen's controversial glory in 2021.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing RB6

Photo by: Andrew Ferraro / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing RB6

In this lull, it's incredible to think this year marks the 15th Abu Dhabi GP! The first was back in 2009 and was won by Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull.

 

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing RB5

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing RB5

 
Work is still ongoing to repair those fairly battered TecPro barriers after Sainz gave them a hefty clout.

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