Raikkonen edges Webber in Bahrain practice two

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Times fell slightly in free practice two for the Bahrain Grand Prix, with Kimi Raikkonen edging Mark Webber for the top spot by the end of the day.

Raikkonen clocked in at 1:34.154, three hundredths of a second ahead of Webber.

While the last two Bahrain GP winners – Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso – were next, Paul di Resta did well to hustle his Force India into fifth place and within four tenths of Raikkonen’s leading time in the Lotus.

Mercedes could do no better than eighth and 10th with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, and McLaren had similar issues with Jenson Button just 11th and Sergio Perez 13th.

Light showers fell in-between practice one and two, but it evaporated almost instantly with the heat in the Sakhir desert.

Several drivers including Vettel, Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado, all ran wide at some point or another during the session.

Esteban Gutierrez, meanwhile, collided with the Caterham of Charles Pic and incurred a left-front puncture. It was not an incident the Sauber rookie needed after his heavy collision with Adrian Sutil a week ago in the Chinese Grand Prix (see below).

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Pic did well to get his car within 3 seconds of the leading times, and ahead of both Marussias – Max Chilton actually ahead of Jules Bianchi on this occasion. Bianchi and Giedo van der Garde, who both sat out FP1, rounded out the timesheets.

MORE: Watch qualifying and the Bahrain Grand Prix online or on your phone or tablet

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”