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Vettel crashes but leads Day 1 of Abu Dhabi tyre test

Written by  Nov 27, 2018

Sebastian Vettel recovered from an early crash to lead the opening day of the Pirelli tyre test taking place in Abu Dhabi.

The German hit the barriers at Turn 1 in the morning causing a red flag but would hit the track in the afternoon posting a 1m36.812s, completing 68 laps overall.

The two days of running at Yas Marina are an opportunity for teams to understand and compare the 2019 compounds to those used this past season.

Little information will be made public as to what tyres are used, but it is a crucial chance for data gathering in representative conditions under the sunny skies in the Middle East.

Valtteri Bottas led for much for the day but finished second in the Mercedes four-tenths back, the Finn did complete 120 laps, however in a productive day.

Force India split their running between the two 2019 drivers with Lance Stroll making his debut in the afternoon and finishing third with future teammate Sergio Perez fifth, either side of Max Verstappen's Red Bull.

Lando Norris was sixth in the McLaren ahead of Nico Hulkenberg for Renault with both also comfortably surpassing the 100-lap mark.

Haas junior Pietro Fittipaldi made his first appearance for the American squad and despite an early engine failure, completed a race distance of 55 laps in eighth.

Williams also cut the day between their new line-up for next year with George Russell ahead of Robert Kubica in ninth and 10th respectively.

Kimi Raikkonen returned to Sauber for the first time since 2001 and was 11th fastest with his day curtailed by reliability.

Finally, Sean Gelael completed the times but did complete the most laps with 150 for the Honda-powered Toro Rosso.

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