Lewis Hamilton continued his impressive start to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend by topping second practice for Mercedes on Friday evening as Yas Marina.
Hamilton enters the final race of the season trailing Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg by 12 points at the top of the drivers’ championship.
Rosberg requires a top-three finish to clinch a maiden title, with Hamilton needing a drastic change in fortunes if he is to take a fourth crown.
After dominating first practice in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton continued to impress when the sun went down at Yas Marina by once again setting the fastest time in FP2.
A lap of 1:40.861 saw Hamilton finished 0.079 seconds clear of Rosberg at the top as Mercedes once again surged to a one-two finish.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished a further two-tenths of a second behind, but saw his session come to an early end after an issue forced him to stop beneath the Yas Viceroy hotel in the final sector.
Max Verstappen ended FP2 fourth for Red Bull ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo, while Kimi Raikkonen was sixth in the second Ferrari.
Williams and Force India’s season-long battle continued in FP2 as Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez finished seventh and eighth, with teammates Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa rounding out the top 10.
Ed Carpenter Racing has signed 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay to drive the full 2020 NTT IndyCar Series season, the team announced Wednesday.
VeeKay will drive the No. 21 Chevrolet previously occupied by Spencer Pigot.
“I’m so happy!” the 19-year-old driver from the Netherlands said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true and something we have worked extremely hard for over the last couple of years. To step up from USF2000 to the NTT IndyCar Series in three years is really special.”
In his maiden Indy Lights season this year, VeeKay collected six race victories and seven pole potions. VeeKay previously won the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 championship, and finished second in the 2017 USF2000 standings.
VeeKay’s success in the ladder series caught the attention of Carpenter, who gave VeeKay the opportunity to first test for the team at Portland International Raceway in August.
“I have been following Rinus’s path through the Road to Indy, especially the past two years,” Carpenter said. “It was clear to me that he deserves to be in an Indy car. After his first day in a car at Portland this past season, that feeling became even more apparent. His pace, feedback and demeanor inside the car was very impressive for such a young driver.”
As a driver, Carpenter will be VeeKay’s teammate during the five oval races in 2020, once again returning to the team’s No. 20 entry. An announcement on which driver will pilot the No. 20 on the road and street circuits will be made at a later time.
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