Valtteri Bottas edged out Mercedes Formula 1 teammate Lewis Hamilton by two-tenths of a second during second practice for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Finn ended up 0.203s clear of Hamilton having posted a 1m36.276 as the times tumbled in FP2, but interestingly neither Bottas, Hamilton nor Red Bull’s Max Verstappen could get a clean lap in on the softs when the tyres were at their best during the practice session that offers the most representative conditions that will be seen in qualifying and the race.

Hamilton posted a time that was nearly two-tenths quicker than Bottas managed, only to have the lap deleted for falling foul of track limits at the final corner, while Bottas aborted his first soft-tyre effort after running wide at Turn 1.

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Verstappen had also been on course to put in a strong lap having set the fastest first sector of anyone but his run was ruined when he encountered traffic in the final sector. It means F1’s top two teams will head into final practice and qualifying with limited short-run data having failed to get in representative laps.

After teams spent the first half an hour carrying out the latest test for Pirelli’s 2021 prototype tyres during the final Friday practice session of the year, the end of FP2 was disrupted by a red flag when Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo pulled over to the side of the track with flames pouring out of the back of his C39.

The Finn took action into his own hands by grabbing a fire extinguisher to help marshals put out the fire as his car continued to smoulder away.

It appeared to be a session of attritional at the final round of a condensed 17-round season with George Russell also running into engine trouble in his Williams, while Hamilton’s Mercedes briefly conked out in the pitlane in the closing moments of the session before he was able to restart his W11 after a clutch-related issue.

Behind the second Red Bull of Alex Albon in fourth came Lando Norris, who headed a packed midfield fight with just over two-tenths of a second splitting the Briton from his McLaren teammate Carlos Sainz in 12th, with Esteban Ocon, Sergio Perez, Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll and Daniil Kvyat all in the mix for Renault, Racing Point, Ferrari and AlphaTauri to fill positions 5-12.