Bottas fastest as testing begins in Abu Dhabi
By Tom Howard
Wednesday 4th December, 2019 - 9:54am
Valtteri Bottas set the pace on the opening day of Formula 1’s post-season test at Abu Dhabi.
The Mercedes driver clocked a session best 1:37.124s while using the C4 2019 spec compound tyre, his time was 0.867s faster than nearest rival Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari).
Teams have been issued 10 sets of tyres to use across the two day test with the rubber a mix of 2019 and 2020 compounds.
Four-time world champion Vettel had an eventful day that was twice interrupted.
An exhaust issue on his Ferrari saw the German lose an hour of running before a collision with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez that resulted in a puncture and a trip back to the pits.
Despite the dramas, Vettel ended the day second fastest on the 2020 C5 rubber, almost two tenths of a second quicker than Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat.
Kvyat shared his car with F2 driver Sean Gelael, who clocked the 11th fastest time.
Perez ended the test fourth for Racing Point ahead of Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean and McLaren’s Lando Norris.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen logged the most laps completing 153 tours of the Yas Marina circuit to end the day in seventh.
Esteban Ocon made his debut as a Renault driver as the Frenchman gears up to replace Nico Hulkenberg on the grid next year.
Ocon logged 77 laps leaving the circuit with the eighth best time which was 2.8s adrift of the pace.
The top 10 was completed by Williams’ George Russell, who shared his car with Israeli open wheel racer Roy Nissany, and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Raikkonen’s test was cut short due to a technical issue.
The Abu Dhabi test concludes later today.
Result: Formula 1 Abu Dhabi test Day 1
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||C4 ’19||1:37.124||138|
|2||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||C5 ’20||1:37.991||0.867||136|
|3||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||C5 ’20||1:38.183||1.059||72|
|4||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||C5 ’20||1:38.434||1.310||120|
|5||Romain Grosjean||Haas||C5 ’20||1:39.526||2.402||146|
|6||Lando Norris||McLaren||C5 ’20||1:39.741||2.617||125|
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||C3 ’20||1:39.926||2.802||153|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Renault||C4 ’20||1:39.962||2.838||77|
|9||George Russell||Williams||C5 ’20||1:40.368||3.244||87|
|10||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||C4 ’19||1:40.903||3.779||93|
|11||Sean Gelael||Toro Rosso||C4 ’20||1:41.640||4.516||67|
|12||Roy Nissany||Williams||C3 ’20||1:44.760||7.636||41|