Max sixth in FP2: "Not happy with the balance."

Published on 24 November 2017 by Stefan Meens

After a solid start to the Abu Dhabi weekend with a third fastest time in FP1, Max Verstappen collected P6 in the second free practice session. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) was quickest, ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Max’s team mate, Daniel Ricciardo.

“The first training was alright, but the second less so, probably because we changed so things I wasn’t happy with. But that’s what practice sessions are for. We now know what works and doesn’t work so we’ll adjust things for tomorrow.”

“There were no problems today so that’s good. But we have to improve as we’re not fast enough to challenge for the win. I’m not happy yet with the balance, but hopefully we can be closer in qualifying. Usually we should then be even closer in the race.”

Whereas the first session took place in broad day light, the final Friday session took place at dusk, comparable to the conditions during qualifying and the race on Saturday and Sunday.

Max starts his lap count with a run on the super-soft Pirellis but quickly notifies the team his rear tyres are losing grip in turn ten.  After 30 minutes, Max starts his second run, this time on the ultra-soft Pirellis. He completes seven laps, the quickest, 1:38.894, being his fastest lap of the session.

With half an hour to go, Max continues on the same set of ultra-softs, without improving his lap time. In the closing stages, the youngster switches to the harder super-soft and completes another eleven laps, bringing his total to 34 in FP2. The other teams also focus on long runs in the final part of practice, meaning lap times stay the same and Max finishes in sixth.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit - Friday 24 November


01 44 Lewis Hamilton      Mercedes                    1:37.877          39
02  5 Sebastian Vettel    Ferrari                     1:38.026 +0.149s  37
03  3 Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer   1:38.180 +0.303s  34
04  7 Kimi Raikkonen      Ferrari                     1:38.352 +0.475s  35
05 77 Valtteri Bottas     Mercedes                    1:38.537 +0.660s  33
06 33 Max Verstappen      Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer   1:38.894 +1.017s  34
07 11 Sergio Perez        Force India Mercedes        1:39.323 +1.446s  33
08 31 Esteban Ocon        Force India Mercedes        1:39.333 +1.456s  36
09 27 Nico Hulkenberg     Renault                     1:39.529 +1.652s  41
10 14 Fernando Alonso     McLaren Honda               1:39.559 +1.682s  28
11 19 Felipe Massa        Williams Mercedes           1:39.635 +1.758s  36
12  2 Stoffel Vandoorne   McLaren Honda               1:39.671 +1.794s  31
13 55 Carlos Sainz        Renault                     1:40.201 +2.324s  38
14 18 Lance Stroll        Williams Mercedes           1:40.329 +2.452s  30
15 10 Pierre Gasly        Toro Rosso                  1:40.694 +2.817s  39
16 20 Kevin Magnussen     Haas Ferrari                1:41.128 +3.251s  31
17 94 Pascal Wehrlein     Sauber Ferrari              1:41.270 +3.393s  43
18  9 Marcus Ericsson     Sauber Ferrari              1:41.302 +3.425s  40
19 28 Brendon Hartley     Toro Rosso                  1:41.496 +3.619s  39
20  8 Romain Grosjean     Haas Ferrari                1:41.560 +3.683s  1

Abu Dhabi GP contest: win a Max Verstappen/Red Bull Racing jacket