Lewis Hamilton was again fastest in the second practice session at Abu Dhabi, but this time with much less of a margin. As Nico Rosberg narrowed the gap to 0.079s, so did Ferrari, with Sebastian Vettel ending up at less than three tenths of Hamilton.
The Red Bull drivers positions themselves in fourth and fifth, a just one thousandth of a second separating the two. Kimi Raikkonen followed up in 6th, 3 tenths down on his own team mate.
Valtteri Bottas was again the fastest man for Williams, going 7th fastest with Massa 10th. Together, they sandwished the Force India duo and left both McLaren drivers behind as they were 11th and 12th fastest. For McLaren at least that was a solid improvement compared to the first session in which Jenson Button struggled with mechanical problems.
Even though Hamilton eventually emerged fastest on the ultra softs, it was Rosberg who set the early pace on Pirelli's soft compound tyres. Hamilton struggled and repeatedly locked up his wheels to create flat spots. It worried the Brit to the extent that he asked his team if there was anything wrong with the car. His engineer answered firmly that things were ok.
It was only when everybody started to switch to the ultrasofts for some qualifying preparation that Hamilton took the upper hand. Vettel was the first do set a competitive time on the softest tyre available, until Rosberg and then Hamilton improved.
Sebastian Vettel will likely be happy with his performance to take third, but a bit less so with the end of his session. The German Ferrari driver rolled to a halt and reported he suspected a gearbox failure. He risks taking a 5-place grid penalty if the team would deem it necessary to replace the gearbox.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:40.861||-||36|
|2||6||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||1:40.940||+0.079s||38|
|4||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:41.389||+0.528s||24|
|5||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:41.390||+0.529s||33|
|7||77||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Mercedes||1:41.959||+1.098s||35|
|8||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:42.041||+1.180s||35|
|9||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India Mercedes||1:42.264||+1.403s||36|
|10||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||1:42.268||+1.407s||36|
|11||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||1:42.366||+1.505s||33|
|12||22||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda||1:42.823||+1.962s||24|
|13||21||Esteban Gutierrez||Haas Ferrari||1:43.012||+2.151s||35|
|14||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:43.108||+2.247s||17|
|16||31||Esteban Ocon||MRT Mercedes||1:43.600||+2.739s||35|
|17||94||Pascal Wehrlein||MRT Mercedes||1:43.754||+2.893s||33|
|18||12||Felipe Nasr||Sauber Ferrari||1:43.903||+3.042s||36|
|19||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:44.045||+3.184s||34|
|21||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1:44.478||+3.617s||5|
|22||26||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1:45.948||+5.087s||4|