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2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 & 2

So, here we are. After a thrilling season, the finale of the 2022 Formula 1 season has finally arrived. After the thrilling yet controversial ending of last season’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, will we get another barn burner this year too? Stay with us throughout the final race weekend of the year to find out!

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Free Practice 1 & 2

Free Practice 1

The first practice session was a bittersweet moment for the whole F1 fanbase. We saw two legends of the sport take their final trips around the 5.554 km long Yas Marina circuit. 4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel will be hanging up his boots this weekend, waving good buy to an illustrious career that saw him become statistically the third greatest driver to call this sport home. His former teammate, Daniel Ricciardo will also say goodbye to the sport, as he would be without a drive for next season. But, the honey badger will be going back to his former home in Red Bull in a reserve driver role for 2023.

As the old guard waves goodbye, we also saw glimpses of the future. A total of rookies made their appearance in FP1. Pato O’ward sat in for Lando Norris at McLaren, while Liam Lawson took control of the No.1 car at Red Bull. Lawson was quickly up to speed as he put in the fifth fastest time of the session, just behind Sergio Perez. Logan Sargent was back in the seat of a Williams, but the American driver had an eye-opening spin just as he was getting up to speed. Carlos Sainz also sat out FP1 as Robert Shwartzman took his place in the scarlet Ferrari F1-75. Robert Kubica, Pietro Fittipaldi, Jack Doohan, and F2 champion Felipe Drugovich were the other drivers to take part in one-off FP1 appearances.

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Free Practice 1 & 2

After their wonderful 1-2 finish last weekend, Mercedes locked out the front of the grid once again. Lewis Hamilton, starting his 200th race with the silver arrows was the quickest, followed by George Russel, while Leclerc was the faster of the two Ferraris.

  1. Lewis Hamilton 1:26.633
  2. George Russell 1:26.853

Charles Leclerc 1:26.888

Free Practice 2

A familiar face was back at the top, as the 2022 World Champion Max Verstappen secured the fastest time in the second practice session. The Dutchman is chasing an unprecedented 15th victory in a single season, with his actions last week having cast doubts in everyone’s mind about the behind-the-scenes situation at Red Bull.

Following Verstappen was last weekend’s winner George Russell, with Ferrari’s Leclerc just 0.453 seconds behind him. All three top teams look to be on the pace this weekend, so it would be interesting to see the Leclerc – Perez battle for second place in the championship. Speaking of Perez, the Mexican driver was P5 and would be hoping for the support of his teammate to secure runner-up glory in the driver’s championship.

However, the Italian team managed to claw their way back with both drivers pulling off some impressive overtakes on the competitors. The P3 – P4 finish they achieved at the end would surely go a long way in the battle with Mercedes for the runner-up position in the World Constructor’s Championship.

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Free Practice 1 & 2
  1. Max Verstappen 1:25.146
  2. George Russell 1:25.487
  3. Charles Leclerc 1:25.599

 

With both Leclerc and Perez tied at 290 points each, the qualifying session will decide who holds the upper hand going into the final race of the season. Join us tomorrow for the latest updates, and don’t forget to check out our previous F1 coverage.

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