F1 Grand Prix practice results: Hamilton fastest in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton was fastest for Mercedes on the opening day of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice at Yas Marina on Friday, ahead of the final round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship.

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His title rival Max Verstappen of Red Bull was quickest in FP1 but Hamilton set the fastest time of the day in FP2 at 1m23.691s.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix FP1 results: Verstappen fastest from Bottas

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 23 1'25.009     235.203
2 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 27 1'25.205 0.196 0.196 234.662
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 25 1'25.355 0.346 0.150 234.249
4 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 24 1'25.363 0.354 0.008 234.227
5 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 23 1'25.378 0.369 0.015 234.186
6 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 26 1'25.625 0.616 0.247 233.511
7 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 28 1'25.822 0.813 0.197 232.975
8 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 20 1'25.846 0.837 0.024 232.910
9 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 26 1'25.886 0.877 0.040 232.801
10 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 26 1'26.007 0.998 0.121 232.474
11 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 25 1'26.025 1.016 0.018 232.425
12 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 26 1'26.123 1.114 0.098 232.160
13 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 25 1'26.189 1.180 0.066 231.983
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 25 1'26.409 1.400 0.220 231.392
15 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 26 1'26.608 1.599 0.199 230.860
16 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 29 1'26.676 1.667 0.068 230.679
17 United Kingdom Jack Aitken Williams 27 1'27.481 2.472 0.805 228.557
18 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 27 1'27.487 2.478 0.006 228.541
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 24 1'27.698 2.689 0.211 227.991
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 22 1'28.305 3.296 0.607 226.424

What happened in Free Practice 1?

First practice took place in daytime, meaning it was not fully representative of either qualifying or the race, both of which will occur in cooler conditions of the early evening.

Verstappen set the early pace on soft tyres at 1m26.463s before Hamilton topped it by a tenth and a half with 1m23.290s.

Verstappen stayed out and dipped under the 1m26s barrier with a 1m25.602s, while Hamilton got to within 0.218s in P2. Verstappen then went even faster, producing 1m25.300s after 20 minutes of the session, with Hamilton working down to within a quarter of a second.

Hamilton ran again on new softs, improving to 1m25.355s – 0.055s off Verstappen at that point – but Max unleashed 1m25.009s on his second run, which remained the quickest time of the session.

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) improved to 1m25.205s to take second from Hamilton, who was 0.346s off Verstappen – but Lewis did set the fastest first and third sectors overall with a lap that was deleted for exceeding track limits.

Sergio Perez was just behind Hamilton in fourth, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri).

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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix FP2 results: Hamilton fastest from Ocon

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 26 1'23.691     238.907
2 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 29 1'24.034 0.343 0.343 237.932
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 29 1'24.083 0.392 0.049 237.793
4 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 25 1'24.332 0.641 0.249 237.091
5 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 26 1'24.400 0.709 0.068 236.900
6 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 27 1'24.495 0.804 0.095 236.634
7 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 26 1'24.532 0.841 0.037 236.530
8 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 29 1'24.557 0.866 0.025 236.460
9 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 29 1'24.844 1.153 0.287 235.660
10 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 27 1'24.940 1.249 0.096 235.394
11 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 26 1'24.959 1.268 0.019 235.341
12 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 27 1'25.108 1.417 0.149 234.929
13 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 27 1'25.153 1.462 0.045 234.805
14 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 27 1'25.195 1.504 0.042 234.689
15 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 26 1'25.385 1.694 0.190 234.167
16 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 23 1'25.440 1.749 0.055 234.016
17 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 29 1'25.549 1.858 0.109 233.718
18 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 22 1'25.687 1.996 0.138 233.342
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 27 1'25.784 2.093 0.097 233.078
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 26 1'26.336 2.645 0.552 231.588

What happened in Free Practice 2?

As the sun began to set at the start of FP2, Hamilton set the early medium-tyred pace at 1m25.127s. Verstappen almost matched his time, but had it deleted for track limits. Max ran again and was 0.122s off Hamilton’s pace, until Lewis reset the bar at 1m24.126s – putting him almost a second clear.

Bottas hit the Turn 14 wall with his right-rear wheel, while Nicholas Latifi damaged the rear wing of his Williams during a spin at Turn 13. Following his wall clip, and a stop to check for damage, Bottas ran again – this time on soft tyres – and set a new P1 time of 1m24.083s.

Surprisingly, neither Hamilton (1m24.104s) nor Verstappen (1m24.332s) beat that on their first soft-tyred laps. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon then delivered an impressive 1m24.034s to top the session by 0.049s.

After multiple cool-down laps, Hamilton unleashed a lap of 1m23.691s – 0.641s clear of title rival Verstappen, who ended the session down in fourth behind Ocon and Bottas.

Perez was fifth quickest, ahead of Alonso and Tsunoda.

Just as the chequered flag flew, Kimi Raikkonen shunted at Turn 14, damaging three corners of his Alfa Romeo in his final F1 weekend.

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