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F1 – Bottas maintains pace in Abu Dhabi but collides with Grosjean late in session

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F1 - 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP2

After topping the opening practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas continued to set the pace at the Yas Marina circuit with the Finn beating team-mate Lewis Hamilton by three tenths of a second in FP2. However, Bottas’ good work was undermined when he was involved in a collision with Haas’ Romain Grosjean late in the session. 

Bottas spent the opening portion of the 90-minute session behind early pacesetter Hamilton, with both drivers running on medium tyres. As the session edged towards it midpoint, Bottas moved to soft tyres for a qualifying run and he promptly jumped to the top the order with a lap of 1:36.256. The lap put him 0.310m clear of Hamilton. 

After establishing himself in P1, Bottas then moved back to medium tyres for a lengthy stint in the second half of the session. It was during this period that he clashed with Grosjean.

The Frenchman went wide into Turn 11 and seeing a gap Bottas dived down the inside. Grojean was already turning in, however and the pair collided with debris being strewn across the track. The session was briefly red-flagged as the debris was cleared from the track. Bottas was later handed a reprimand over the incident by stewards.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc was third fastest in the session, with the Monegasque racer finishing 0.386s behind Bottas. Leclerc’s time came at the second attempt after his first was scuppered by a loss of control in Turn 19 that resulted in the Ferrari man slapping the wall with his rear right wheel. Leclerc made it back to the pits where he took a second set of softs with which he claimed third place. 

Sebastian Vettel was fourth quickest in the second Ferrari. The German crashed out at the end of the first session and in FP2 used a fresh gearbox to set a best time of 1:36.691, more than four tenths of a second behind Bottas. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fifth quickest, though the Brazilian Grand Prix winner ended the session 0.551s off the pace.

Alex Albon completed a top six order filled by the top three teams and that5 left best-of-the-rest seventh place to Grosjean. Sergio Perez finished in P7, just 0.036s behind the Frenchman, with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Pierre finishing ninth and tenth respectively. 


2019 FIA Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:36.256  29 207.721
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:36.566 0.310 33 207.054
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:36.642 0.386 30 206.891
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:36.691 0.435 28 206.786
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:36.807 0.551 30 206.538
6 Alexander Albon Red Bull Racing 1:37.288 1.032 30 205.517
7 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:37.601 1.345 17 204.858
8 Sergio Pérez Racing Point 1:37.637 1.381 32 204.783
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:37.651 1.395 34 204.753
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:37.770 1.514 36 204.504
11 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 1:37.834 1.578 32 204.370
12 Lando Norris McLaren 1:37.918 1.662 32 204.195
13 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1:37.985 1.729 32 204.055
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:38.080 1.824 31 203.858
15 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:38.122 1.866 29 203.770
16 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:38.400 2.144 26 203.195
17 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo 1:38.415 2.159 30 203.164
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1:38.464 2.208 32 203.063
19 George Russell Williams 1:39.512 3.256 32 200.924
20 Robert Kubica Williams 1:40.455 4.199 32 199.038