Hamilton maintains advantage in Abu Dhabi

Title leader fastest in second practice session ahead of Rosberg. Magnussen takes third place.

After running quickest in the opening practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton doubled up in the late afternoon, the championship leader beating team-mate and title rival Nico Rosberg to top spot in FP2.

The gap between the two was vanishingly low, however. In the morning just over a tenth of a second separated the pair but in the second session, on the option super soft tyre, Rosberg narrowed the deficit to 0.083s.

Third in the session was Kevin Magnussen, the McLaren driver getting to within 0.7s of Hamilton’s benchmark. In the morning Fernando Alonso occupied that position, though 1.7s down on the Hamilton’s best time. In the afternoon the Ferrari driver had an altogether more difficult time, with a suspected electrical problem halting his progress after just two laps.

With Magnussen third then, Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel finished fourth with Valtteri Bottas fifth. After his work in the first session ended after just eight laps due to a bodywork problem, Bottas had a more profitable run in the second outing, the Finn completing 34 laps and finishing just under a second off Hamilton’s time.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest for Red Bull ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Like Bottas, McLaren’s Jenson Button had limited running in the morning due to a hydraulic issue and work on the problem kept him in the garage for part of the evening session. He eventually managed to take to the circuit and completed 20 laps to claim the eighth fastest time of the session.

Daniil Kvyat was ninth for Toro Rosso and the top 10 order was rounded out by Williams’ Felipe Massa.

Elsewhere, Lotus’ Romain Grosjean had been handed a 20-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race after his team made multiple changes to his engine for the race weekend.

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2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Free Practice 21 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:42.113 352 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:42.196 0.083 373 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:42.895 0.782 374 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:42.959 0.846 335 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:43.070 0.957 346 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:43.183 1.070 327 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:43.489 1.376 338 Jenson Button McLaren 1:43.503 1.390 239 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:43.546 1.433 3810 Felipe Massa Williams 1:43.558 1.445 3411 Sergio Perez Force India 1:43.746 1.633 3712 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:44.005 1.892 3813 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:44.068 1.955 3214 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:44.157 2.044 3915 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:44.316 2.203 3816 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:44.763 2.650 3717 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:44.986 2.873 3518 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:45.505 3.392 3819 Will Stevens Caterham 1:47.057 4.944 3420 Fernando Alonso Ferrari No time 2