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Lewis Hamilton went fastest in the second free practice session at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix, having earlier finished behind Sebastian Vettel in FP1.

Hamilton set a track record with a time of one minute, 37.877 seconds ahead of Vettel, who was 0.149 seconds behind.

Their positions were reversed in the first session, with Hamilton just 0.12 seconds behind the Ferrari driver.


FP1 Recap

Here is the classification from FP1, per Sky Sports F1:

With little to compete for, the teams adopted a somewhat experimental approach to the session, as Pirelli Motorsport noted:

Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas got out in front early as they racked up a series of quick laps, per their team’s Twitter account:

The champion was superseded by Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo as the rest of the field got involved, while Bottas was pushed down to P10, though the pair would eventually regain control at the top of the timesheet after a switch to ultrasoft tyres.

Meanwhile, Ricciardo escaped damage to his car after running wide at Turn 20. Nico Hulkenberg and Antonio Giovinazzi also spun at Turns 14 and 17, prompting a brief deployment of the yellow flags, while a tailwind caught out George Russell, but the session was relatively drama-free with none of the incidents proving serious.

F1’s official Twitter account provided the highlights:

Hamilton looked set to top the standings before a superb late run from Vettel put the German narrowly in front, where he would remain until the chequered flag.


FP2 Recap

Here is the timesheet from the second session:

There was a greater sense of urgency in FP2, which began at 5 p.m. local time—the same time as qualification and the race itself will on Saturday and Sunday (1 p.m. GMT, 8 a.m. ET).

Hamilton once again started strongly, despite a promising lap being cut short by yellow flags brought out in response to a spin from Stoffel Vandoorne, and despite excellent efforts from Vettel and team-mate Bottas, he came out on top:

That’s where he would remain as the session transitioned to long runs.

Ricciardo also had ambitions of challenging for top spot, and he was able to move into P3, but not before an incident with the struggling Romain Grosjean:

The Australian was also blocked by Felipe Massa later in the session as traffic became an issue, with Bottas similarly delayed by Hulkenberg.

The final race of the season will be of little consequence given the drivers’ and constructors’ championships have been wrapped up for some time, but it’s clear Hamilton intends to finish the year on a high.

Vettel has run him close in practice thus far, though, so the pair once again look set to battle it out over the weekend.  

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