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Abu Dhabi Test: Vettel keeps Ferrari on top as Kubica, Leclerc impress on final day

Written by  Nov 29, 2017

Sebastian Vettel put Ferrari at the top of the timesheets for the second straight day with Robert Kubica and Charles Leclerc producing notable performances as the Pirelli tyre test came to a close in Abu Dhabi.

The German four-time world champion would set a 1:37.551s in the morning on the HyperSoft tyre, two-tenths clear than what teammate Kimi Raikkonen managed on Tuesday, as he got his first look at the new 2018 compounds.

Vettel was also one of eight drivers to surpass the 100-lap mark on the final day of running this year, while some teams opted to split the track time between their respective drivers.

That was the case at Williams with Sergey Sirotkin doing the long run work that Robert Kubica did on Tuesday, but there was more interest in his appearance for the final two hours of action.

It would mark the first time a direct comparison could be drawn between the Pole and would be teammate in 2018 Lance Stroll, as they completed the same program of shorter runs on the softer compounds.

The result would be interesting as Kubica went a tenth of a second faster than the time the Canadian managed on Tuesday with a 1:39.485s, which would put him seventh overall on the timesheet.

The other interesting comparison was between F2 champion and likely 2018 Sauber driver Charles Leclerc and his possible teammate Marcus Ericsson with the Monegasque almost a second faster than the Swede had gone on Tuesday, albeit still only 11th overall.

The Ferrari Academy member also completed the most laps of anyone on Wednesday with 148 tours of the Yas Marina Circuit.

Of the other drivers, Valtteri Bottas was second on the day for Mercedes but almost a second slower than pacesetter Vettel, the Finn was a quarter of a second ahead of Max Verstappen in third, but the Dutchman would manage an impressive 132 laps in the Red Bull.

Force India split their day between their race drivers and it would be Sergio Perez in the afternoon who led teammate Esteban Ocon by over three-tenths as they finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Carlos Sainz was sixth for Renault ahead of the aforementioned Kubica as McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne was two seconds faster than third driver Lando Norris, in eighth and 12th respectively, as the British team again ran two cars following the cancellation of a test planned for Brazil. Kevin Magnussen was ninth with Sirotkin completing the top 10 after his stint in the Williams.

At the bottom of the timings sat the two Toro Rosso drivers of Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly after sharing driving duties, both completed just over 60 laps each.

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