ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates—Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton lead the fastest times for Friday practice in preparation for Sunday formula 1 final event, with the Dutchman posting the quickest time of the day, with a 1:25:146, just ahead of Mercedes George Russell and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
For Hamilton, it was one place lower into fourth for the second session, who in addition, had the quickest time in the morning session, which is the only time this weekend where the cars are practicing in daylight. At the same time as the race on Sunday, the temperatures were still at a warm level as the circuit went under the lights, as Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez took fifth, with the second Ferrari of Carlos Sainz in sixth.
Alpine drivers closed in on clinching fourth place in the constructor’s championship by having Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso in his final race with the team, place seventh and eighth, respectively. Daniel Ricciardo, who will test for Red Bull next season, took eighth in his final race for McLaren. Tenth went to Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas.
The morning practice session was a chance for younger drivers to grab the spotlight as Verstappen gave his car to Liam Lawson, while Ferrari made Sainz take his car to Robert Schwartzman.
American Logan Sargent replaced Nicholas Latifi in the Williams, who inched closer to securing a drive with the team for next year as a regular. Pietro Fittipaldi subbed for the departing Mick Schumacher at Haas, Pato O’Ward was in place for Lando Norris at McLaren, Jack Doohan subbed for Alonso at Alpine, and finally, Felipe Drugovich replaced Lance Stroll at Aston Martin.
Even with the event coming to a conclusion, as well as the end of the season on Sunday, some of the mention drivers will remain for the upcoming post-test at this circuit beginning on Tuesday, when drivers who are switching teams can actually drive for their new livery.
By Mark Gero