The final weekend of the season got underway in the heat of the Arabian afternoon sun.
Logan Sargeant hot-footed it from the Formula 2 paddock to join us for Free Practice 1 alongside Alex Albon.
Our Thai racer recorded a best time of 1:27.840 to place him P10, with Logan just over two tenths back in P15 after setting a 1:28.098.
Our F2 rookie was quickly back on track for Formula 2 qualifying where, in an incredibly tight session, he locked in P6 on the grid for Sunday’s Feature Race.
As the sun began to set for FP2, Nicky returned to his seat to start his final weekend with the team and was P20 come the end of the session thanks to a 1:27.262.
Alex continued where he left off from the earlier session, going over a second faster in the more representative conditions with a 1:26.750.
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Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance, was pleased with our running at the Yas Marina Circuit, saying: “We had a solid day preparing for the key sessions tomorrow and on Sunday.
“As always here, the track conditions change significantly between FP1 and FP2, but we dealt with this reasonably well.
“There is a bit more work to do to improve the tyre conditions in the cooler conditions, but we will work on this tonight and will be in a good position by qualifying.
“Despite a spin when braking on the kerbs, Logan completed another good Free Practice session and showed some strong pace on both compounds. He will drive the FW44 again on Tuesday as part of the post-season test day.
“Nicholas had a good FP2 and was quickly up to speed despite missing FP1. Alex was strong in both sessions and was able to complete some useful setup work, which we will analyse in detail tonight.
“FP3 will be another tricky session due to the high track temperature but we’ll still be able to use that session to finalise our preparation for qualifying and the race.”
Alex is optimistic going into the rest of the sessions this weekend, sharing: “I feel like we have a competitive car this weekend compared to the last few races.
“The car is responding well to these kinds of track temperatures, and we always seem to do better in the dark than in the day.
“The long runs are not looking bad either, so overall a pretty decent Friday.”
Watch Nicky reflect on his time with Williams
Nicky will be aiming to get more laps in ahead of Qualifying as he looks to finish his time with the team strongly, stating: “I was back on track for FP2 which was a fairly standard session after sitting out of FP1.
“The grip felt higher than expected but there's still some time to find from my side.
“Hopefully we can make a good step forward tomorrow as I get more up to speed and dialled in.”
Logan completed our Friday reaction by saying: “I'm really happy to complete my fourth and final Free Practice session with Williams this season.
“I feel a lot more comfortable and confident in the car since my very first lap in Austin.
“A massive thanks to everyone in the team for the support they've given me.
“I look forward to being back behind the wheel of the FW44 for the Young Driver Test in a few days.
“My full focus is on finishing the final Sprint and Feature races of my F2 season on a high note.”
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