F1 Abu Dhabi GP Live Updates - Friday practice

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By: Jake Boxall-Legge

Summary

FP2 for the Abu Dhabi GP is underway
Bottas heads session from Hamilton, Verstappen
Verstappen tops Abu Dhabi GP FP1 by 0.034s from Bottas as Hamilton returns to Mercedes after recovering from COVID-19
Red flag with 18 minutes remaining for Raikkonen's burning car
Status: Stopped
14:51 With the final Friday of F1 action done, tomorrow FP3 gets underway at 10am GMT (2pm local time) with qualifying starting at 1pm GMT (5pm local time). We'll say goodbye for now to go and find out how the F1 drivers digested today's practice.
14:42
 
14:37 Practice starts are the final orders of FP2, taking place on the starting grid due to the twisty underground pit exit which is not a suitable place to launch an F1 car from on a standing start.
14:33 So, Bottas tops FP2 from Mercedes team-mate Hamilton in a truncated session given the 2021 tyre testing at the start and red flag at the end.
14:31 Hamilton completes another steering wheel switch, just as he did at the start of the session, as the chequered flag comes out to signal the end of FP2.
14:30 Odd few minutes all around, as Ocon and Albon come too close for comfort during their out-laps on the back straight, with the Red Bull trying to overtake the Renault. That could have been an awkward one.
14:28 A strange moment on the way out of the pits for Hamilton, who reports he can't find any gears and stops outside of the Haas garage. A quick restart under the watchful eyes of the Mercedes mechanics and he gets going again.
14:26 Green flag conditions once more, with a warning of a slippery track surface where Raikkonen stopped.
14:23 FP2 will restart at 6:24pm local time - so in under 60 seconds - meaning there will be six more minutes of track running.
14:22
 
14:21 With the fire out, Raikkonen hitches a lift to the paddock on the back of a golf buggy. That's his session done and a long night ahead for the Alfa Romeo mechanics.
14:17 The Finn quickly pulls over and hops out of his car with the entire rear end on fire when he stops. Raikkonen makes sure the marshals get the fire extinguishers pointing in the right area, but already that is one wrecked F1 car.
14:17
 
14:13 Oh, Raikkonen has a much bigger problem with his Alfa Romeo which is on fire as he exits Turn 7. That has caused a red flag.
14:12 Russell is told to back off and pit as he has a smoking Williams car. That could be the end of his current engine's life.
14:11 It is long run o'clock, with the drivers on an array of softs, mediums and hards - plus the Mercedes pair still on those 2021 tyres.
14:06 As expected the Mercedes pair are back out on the 2021 prototype tyres given they hadn't completed the required eight timed laps during the opening stint at the start of FP2. No rules on when in the session those laps need to be notched up, just Mercedes going against the trend.
14:03 That marks the end of the qualifying sims on the soft tyres. It is a familiar picture at the top of the times with Bottas from Hamilton and then the Red Bulls with Verstappen from Albon. After that just two-tenths splits Norris in P5 down to Sainz in P12.
14:00 Verstappen is the latest to lose his fastest lap time for exceeding track limits at Turn 21 but he remains third given his next quickest effort was only 0.017s slower.
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