Bottas fastest as testing begins in Abu Dhabi

Valtteri Bottas

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

Position Driver Team Tyre Time Gap Laps
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


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