Hamilton reclaims the lead in the second practice session

In response to Max Verstappen’s excellent performance in the first practice session, Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the second practice session.


In second practice at the Yas Marina Circuit, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton achieved the fastest time ahead of Sunday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The conditions were significantly more realistic of the conditions that would be witnessed for qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday when darkness fell on the track. From the afternoon, temperatures dropped marginally, with air temperatures in the mid-20s Celsius and track temperatures around 30 degrees.

With the early running on the Medium tyre, Hamilton set the pace with a 1:24.9, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen almost matching Hamilton’s time but having his time removed due to breaching track limitations.

While Verstappen regrouped for a 1:25.0, Hamilton lowered the benchmark to 1:24.1 on the Medium compound before switching to the Soft compound.


Esteban Ocon of Alpine momentarily took over at the front as the first of the faster cars to make a Soft tyre lap, setting a 1:24.034, but Hamilton smashed that by 0.343 with fifteen minutes to go, setting a 1:23.691, before switching back to the Medium to focus on race pace.

It was the second Mercedes in third, with Valtteri Bottas a further half a tenth down, with Hamilton fastest ahead of Ocon.

Despite switching to the Softs, Verstappen didn’t run much faster than he did on the Mediums, finishing 0.641 seconds off Hamilton’s best time. He also spent the majority of the practice examining the red-marked Pirellis, suggesting the team is considering a two-stop strategy.

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