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F1 - Leclerc on top in second practice at Yas Marina as Sainz and Hülkenberg crash


Charles Leclerc went quickest in a second practice session at the 2023 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that was twice halted for red flags following crashes for Carlos Sainz and Nico Hülkenberg.

Leclerc’s best time came in the closing stages, the only spell of consistent running achievable in the disrupted session, and the Ferrari drivers Soft tyre lap of 1:24.809 was good enough to edge out McLaren’s Lando Norris by four hundredths of a second, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen a tenth of a second further back in third place. 

At the start of the session FP1’s quickest man George Russell again held sway at the top of the timesheet with a lap of with a 1:25.906, set Medium tyres, but the session was stopped after just eight minutes when Sainz crashed. 

The Ferrari driver lost control on the entry of Turn 3, spun and went sideways into the barriers on the left hand side of track. The impact was heavy but though his car was badly damaged, Sainz reported himself unhurt and he was able to clamber out of the car. 

The barriers were also damaged, however, and lengthy repair works were required before running could restart. 

The session eventually resumed with 25 minutes left on the clock, but this time running lasted just three minutes before the red flags were out again, this time for Hülkenberg. The Haas driver lost control of his car on exit in Turn 1 and after spinning he went backwards into the barriers. 

The stoppage was shorter this time and when running resumed with 16 minutes left, Norris posted a Medium-tyre lap of 1:25.625 to move to P1. The two Alfa Romeo pair of Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas then took turns at the top, with the Finnish driver going quicker, before they were split by Pierre Gasly. Leclerc then arrived with his session best time set on Soft tyres before Norris improved to a 1:24.852 to take P2 ahead of Verstappen. 

Bottas' time was good enough for fourth, ahead of Sergio Pérez in the other Red Bull, while early pacesetter Russell was sixth ahead of Zhou. Lewis Hamilton finished eighth for Mercedes ahead of Gasly and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.


2023 FIA Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:24.809 16 224.169
2 Lando Norris McLaren 1:24.852 0.043 18 224.056
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:24.982 0.173 17 223.713
4 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:25.024 0.215 16 223.602
5 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Racing 1:25.112 0.303 17 223.371
6 George Russell Mercedes 1:25.122 0.313 17 223.345
7 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:25.223 0.414 18 223.080
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.315 0.506 16 222.840
9 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:25.321 0.512 15 222.824
10 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:25.361 0.552 18 222.719
11 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:25.397 0.588 17 222.626
12 Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri 1:25.467 0.658 16 222.443
13 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:25.492 0.683 17 222.378
14 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:25.566 0.757 17 222.186
15 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:25.669 0.860 17 221.919
16 Alexander Albon Williams 1:26.081 1.272 20 220.857
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:26.413 1.604 18 220.008
18 Logan Sargeant Williams 1:26.659 1.850 17 219.384
19 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:26.707 1.898 4 219.262
20 Nico Hülkenberg Haas 1:27.147 2.338 7 218.15