Sebastian Vettel drives during the second practice session at Yas Marina Circuit. (Photo: Getty Images)
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest time in the second practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday.
In cooler evening temperatures, the German clocked a best lap of 1 minute, 41.335 seconds to finish .155 ahead of Red Bull teammate Mark Webber and .355 clear of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.
Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest after narrowly avoiding a crash.
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Gerard Lopez, chairman and majority owner of Lotus, looks on during practice. (Photo: Getty Images)
The relationship between Kimi Raikkonen and the Lotus team has been in the spotlight of late, not least because of the controversial radio message in India where the Finn was told to get out of Romain Grosjean’s way. Meanwhile, the ongoing saga of the team’s failure to pay its star driver has put a firm focus on the financial situation.
Today, the team responded by issuing an interesting Q&A with co-owner Gerard Lopez. Featured here are the questions that relate to Raikkonen.
Q: How is the relationship with Kimi?
“Good. I speak with Kimi more than a lot of people probably realize and we rarely speak about Formula 1. Of course, recently a lot was made about the comments between Alan Permane and Kimi during the course of a tense moment in a race, but this was just one exchange taking a matter of seconds in the course of a two-year relationship. It certainly wasn’t the most beneficial few seconds, but you have to step back and accept that everyone is passionate about racing and sometimes these things do happen.”
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Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP prepares to drive during practice for the Abu Dhabi GP. (Photo: Getty Images)
Friday, November 1
All Day – Auto GP | Czech Republic Race 1 (www.Speed2.com)
5 a.m. – Formula 1 | Abu Dhabi GP P1
9 a.m. – Formula 1 | Abu Dhabi GP P2
Saturday, November 2
All Day – Auto GP | Czech Republic Race 2 (www.Speed2.com)
6 a.m. – Formula 1 | Abu Dhabi GP P3
9 a.m. – Formula 1 | Abu Dhabi GP Qualifying
Sunday, November 3
All Day – Bike Road Racing | Scarborough (www.Speed2.com)
8 a.m. – Formula 1 | Abu Dhabi GP Race
2 p.m. – Lucas Oil Off Road Racing | Reno (FOX Sports 1)
3 p.m. – Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt | Knoxville (FOX Sports 1)
4 p.m. – Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt | Dixie National (FOX Sports 1)
8 p.m. – Australian V8 Supercars | Gold Coast (FOX Sports 2)
11 p.m. – FIA World Touring Car Championship | Morocco (FOX Sports 2)
**All times Eastern Standard
Romain Grosjean drives during the first practice session at the Yas Marina Circuit. (Photo: Getty Images)
Lotus driver Romain Grosjean posted the fastest time in the first practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday.
The Frenchman has finished third in each of his past three races and clocked a best lap of 1 minute, 44.241 seconds in hot temperatures to finish .192 seconds ahead of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and .258 clear of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton won in Abu Dhabi two years ago and has taken pole position twice, including at last year’s race.
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David Coulthard in the Red Bull Racing RB9 drives atop the Burj Al Arab helipad in the UAE. (Photo: Courtesy of Infiniti-RedBullRacing.com)
To celebrate winning the Formula One Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships for the fourth consecutive year, Infiniti Red Bull Racing ran one of its Formula One cars at one of the most recognized locations on earth.
Perched 210 metres above the sea, on a helipad 24 metres wide, Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s 750bhp Formula One car became the first to run on the Burj Al Arab helipad. Usually reserved for on-track use, the car was involved in a spectacular show of burning rubber and tire smoke, against a stunning backdrop of the Arabian Gulf, overlooking scenic views of Dubai’s impressive skyline.
Seconds after completing donuts in the car, David Coulthard stepped out of the cockpit and said: “That was a lot of fun. When Red Bull first suggested the idea to me I said ‘why not?’. I like getting involved with anything that pushes the boundaries and it’s what Red Bull stands for. I think this will produce fantastic, iconic shots in an amazing town and I’m really privileged to be part of it.”