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F1 Abu Dhabi GP: Leclerc quickest in disrupted FP2 after Sainz, Hulkenberg crashes

Charles Leclerc headed second practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in a twice red-flagged Formula 1 session, as Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg both crashed.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Jake Grant / Motorsport Images

The two incidents left only a quarter of an hour of real running at the end of the session, in which Leclerc posted a 1m24.809s to fire his way up to the top of the order - then at the expense of the two Alfa Romeos who had opened the last-gasp soft-tyre running with good pace.
Prior to the red flags, George Russell had landed on top of the pile to reprise his position from FP1 with a 1m25.906s on the medium tyre, which allowed him to overhaul brief headliner Kevin Magnussen by half a second.
Carlos Sainz's snap on the entry to Turn 3 pitched his Ferrari into the wall, producing a red flag after eight minutes had elapsed. The Spaniard felt that dirty air from the car ahead and a bump during the right-hand bend was to blame for the incident.
This sapped away at worthwhile running for the 10 drivers who had missed FP1, as they took a back seat in a last-ditch effort to fulfil the rookie driver regulations for free practice sessions.
This caused a lengthy delay as track workers had to repair the affected Tecpro barrier, which prompted a 27-minute pause in proceedings.
When the session was resumed with 25 minutes left on the clock, it was paused once again three minutes later as Nico Hulkenberg hit the wall at Turn 1 after losing the rear on the exit kerb and going into the opposite armco barrier backwards.
This delay was mercifully shorter than the first and yielded 16 minutes of further action as drivers sought to collect the last vestiges of running available.
Lando Norris set a 1m25.625s on the medium tyre to vault to the top, and then quickly dispatched by his soft tyre-shod team-mate Oscar Piastri's effort.
The two Alfa Romeos then swept to the top, with Valtteri Bottas placing his car at the zenith of the order with a 1m25.024s on the softs, with Zhou a further three tenths behind. The two were split by Pierre Gasly before they were relegated down a position by Leclerc's 1m24.809s.
Norris improved to a 1m24.852s to claim second on the timing board, while Max Verstappen was third fastest having been just over a tenth shy of the McLaren.
Verstappen was visibly aggrieved on the first restart to the session with the Williams duo attempting to blend into the queue to leave the pitlane, asking for their actions to be reported.
He then bravely threaded his car past the two Mercedes in the underground crossover on the second restart, having felt he was getting blocked. Further frustrations emerged when he complained of the car "bouncing like a kangaroo" in the final sector.
Bottas' time was good enough for fourth, holding off an effort from Sergio Perez; although the Mexican had set the best middle sector, he backed out of his lap at the final complex and thus had to rely on a later effort with the best taken out of his tyres.
Russell was sixth ahead of Zhou, as Lewis Hamilton managed eighth having earlier ceded control of his W14 to Frederik Vesti in FP1. Gasly and Piastri completed the top 10, a scant margin clear of Fernando Alonso.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix FP2 results

Driver Info
Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Laps Time Interval km/h
1 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari 16


2 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes 18



0.043 224.056
3 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull 17



0.130 223.713
4 Finland V. Bottas Alfa Romeo 77 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 16



0.042 223.602
5 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull 17



0.088 223.371
6 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes 17



0.010 223.345
7 China Z. Guanyu Alfa Romeo 24 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 18



0.101 223.080
8 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes 16



0.092 222.840
9 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault 15



0.006 222.824
10 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes 18



0.040 222.719
11 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes 17



0.036 222.626
12 Australia D. Ricciardo AlphaTauri 3 AlphaTauri Red Bull 16



0.070 222.443
13 Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes 17



0.025 222.378
14 France E. Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault 17



0.074 222.186
15 Japan Y. Tsunoda AlphaTauri 22 AlphaTauri Red Bull 17



0.103 221.919
16 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes 20



0.412 220.857
17 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari 18



0.332 220.008
18 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes 17



0.246 219.384
19 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari 4



0.048 219.262
20 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari 7



0.440 218.155

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