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Max Verstappen is clearly faster than Russell

Max Verstappen is clearly faster than Russell

( – Max Verstappen took the best time in the second free practice session of the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Red Bull driver beat George Russell (Mercedes) by 0.341 and Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) by 0.453 seconds – although he He skipped the first free practice session in favor of Friday driver Liam Lawson.

Max Verstappen set the fastest time in the second free practice in Abu Dhabi

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Verstappen occasionally complained about pit radio brake problems, usually needing two laps to cool the tires again after a fast push lap. The temperatures on the asphalt were about 15 degrees cooler than the highest temperature in the first session in the afternoon.

Verstappen says, “The car was in a good window. There are no problems in FT2. The car works well in the long run. I’m satisfied. We also tried a few things and it works. Normally we should be better here than in Brazil. Overall it was good.” .

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Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), the fastest in practice, lost 0.615 seconds to the best time and finished fourth, followed by Sergio Perez (Red Bull) and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari). During one of his pit stops, Sainz was briefly worried about one of his mechanics, who left his hand on the tire as he pulled off. But nothing happened.

Long haul: The key is data

But Friday’s long distances are usually far more important than the best times ever, when the second half of the session includes testing with plenty of fuel on board and used tires with a view to Sunday. A detailed long haul analysis will be available later on Friday evening at YouTube channel.

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It is clear even before analyzing the data that Ferrari has not performed well. Leclerc, who finished third on the fast individual lap, asked a few minutes before the end: “Why are we so slow?” His race engineer’s response was somewhat unsettling: “Our pace isn’t good at the moment.”

Wolff is optimistic after Mercedes’ speed

It looked better for Mercedes: “At the moment we are the fastest in one lap and in the long run,” says team boss Toto Wolff in an interview with Sky. Still: “I think it’s a little bit more difficult than last weekend.”

“It’s the first time the pattern has reversed, we were fast on one lap and then slowed down on the long run, and the others settled down really well. We have to understand why that was,” explains the Austrian.

For McLaren there was 9th (Daniel Ricciardo / +0.978) and 11th (Lando Norris / +1.231). “A decent day for us,” said team boss Andreas Seidl in an interview with “ServusTV”. “We were able to complete our program as planned. I think we are seeing a similar picture to the previous races: a very close battle between Alpine, us, Sebastian and Valtteri.”

Mick Schumacher, running his last Grand Prix (at least for now) in Abu Dhabi, finished 17th, and was 1.693 seconds behind Verstappen’s best time, but 0.076 seconds quicker than teammate Kevin Magnussen. . Only Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri/+1.890) and Nicholas Latifi (Williams/+2.116) were slower than these two Haas.

Aston Martin: The first quarter will be the toughest hurdle

In the evening, Sebastian Vettel wasn’t quite able to continue the strong performance of the first practice session. The German is competing in his farewell weekend and dropped from sixth to twelfth. In the end, it was 1.249 seconds missing. He put teammate Lance Stroll in check by 0.152 seconds in FT2.

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Aston Martin’s chances this weekend are “a good question”, admits team boss Mike Crack in an interview with Sky ahead of the second practice session: “I don’t think we’ll do it as easily as we did in Texas. I’ll be better than Mexico though, a little bit in between.”

Vettel finished sixth in the first practice session. A solid base for the rest of the weekend. Krack predicts: “I think the Alfa Romeos, who we’re fighting against now mainly in the world championship, will be a little faster. But we have the most reliable car and maybe from time to time the best strategy.”

After FT2, Krack told ‘ServusTV’: “It was very good. I didn’t expect it to be that good, to be honest. Sebastien had a brake in turn 6 on his fastest lap. Something was going to happen. The runs weren’t Bad. The biggest difficulty will be getting through Q1. If we get to Q2, anything is possible.”

Where can you watch qualifiers and races?

In Germany exclusively on Sky. Qualifying starts on Saturday at 3:00pm (preliminary reports from 2:30pm), and the race starts on Sunday at 2:00pm (preliminary reports from 12:30pm German time). (AD: From November 14 to December 4, there is a 50 percent discount on the Sky WOW live broadcasting service for six months of sports for 14.99 euros!)

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