First day of Abu Dhabi F1 test
First day of Abu Dhabi F1 test. All 10 teams have at least one car running. Each of them is conducting a final test using its 2021 cars running on this year’s 13-inch wheels for a rookie driver.
Formula E champion Nyck de Vries was quickest for Mercedes on the opening day of Formula 1’s post-season test in Abu Dhabi.
De Vries, who will continue to drive for Mercedes in FE in what is set to be its final season in the category in 2022, was briefly linked to the Williams ‘22 drive that eventually went to Alex Albon.
|1||Nyck de Vries||Mercedes||1:23.194||77|
|5||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||1:25.142||1.948||119|
|6||Juri Vips||Red Bull||1:25.198||2.004||97|
|7||Nick Yelloly||Aston Martin||1:25.333||2.139||118|
|9||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin*||1:26.579||3.385||143|
|12||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||1:27.183||3.989||127|
|17||Max Verstappen||Red Bull*||1:28.013||4.819||124|
The Dutch pace-setter, a former McLaren F1 junior, was among the 11 drivers called up for the ‘young driver test’ portion of the two-day post-season event, with those with two or fewer F1 grand prix starts allowed to run in 2021-spec F1 machinery and current tyres.
All teams made use of this, while every team apart from Williams is also running a ‘mule car’ adapted to the new 18-inch F1 tyres that will make their competitive F1 debut next year. These nine ‘mule cars’ will also run on Wednesday.
De Vries ended the day on a 1m23.194s, a lap a second and a tenth off the one Max Verstappen had recorded to take pole for last weekend’s title decider.
Formula 2 drivers Liam Lawson (AlphaTauri, above) and Oscar Piastri (Alpine) made up the top three and were only 0.006s apart, albeit more than a second off the benchmark set by the Mercedes W12.
Lawson, a Red Bull junior and this year’s DTM runner-up, is expected to do a second season in F2 next year, whereas Piastri cannot return to F1’s maiden feeder series by virtue of being its reigning champion, and is therefore set to concentrate on his duties as Alpine’s reserve driver.
IndyCar’s Patricio O’Ward (below) was quickest heading into the lunch break, and would end the day fourth for McLaren, close behind Lawson and Piastri.
Alfa Romeo’s 2022 F1 signing Guanyu Zhou, Red Bull junior Juri Vips and Aston Martin’s simulator driver Nick Yelloly completed a top seven made up entirely of the ‘young driver test’ participants. Vips’ barrier-stranded Red Bull was the culprit behind one of the day’s red flags.
Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren was the fastest of the ‘mule cars’, narrowly beating Lance Stroll’s Aston to the honour. Like Vips, Ricciardo also caused a red flag with a stoppage – as did Williams F1 junior Logan Sargeant (below).
F1’s newly-crowned champion Verstappen was just 17th for Red Bull, half a tenth up on Mercedes newcomer George Russell. Both logged well over 100 laps, but the mileage rankings for the day were led by Antonio Fuoco, who first drove a 2021 Ferrari and then a Ferrari 18-inch ‘mule car’.
Verstappen will hand the Red Bull ‘mule car’ over to Sergio Perez tomorrow, whereas Russell will remain in the Mercedes equivalent.
F1 McLaren Andreas Seidl – Proud of our progress
First day of abu Dhabi F1 test First day of abu Dhabi F1 test
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