Abu Dhabi Test: Mercedes lead both days as Ferrari find the barriers

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Mercedes maintained dominance in Abu Dhabi by topping the times on both days of the post-season tyre test at Yas Marina.

Valtteri Bottas and George Russell took a day apiece behind the wheel of the W10, with the Finn posting a 1m37.124s on the 2019-spec C4 tyre on Tuesday and the Williams driver less than a tenth slower on Wednesday. 

The test was crucial for Pirelli after Formula 1 teams had criticised the 2020 compound they had trialled during Friday practice in Austin, leading some to call for this year's tyres to be retained for next season.

Also, at Renault, Esteban Ocon made his return to the track for the first official test sessions since being dropped by Racing Point after 2018.

The Frenchman would complete just 77 laps on his first day back but was more productive on Wednesday with 113 laps to his name and a fastest time of 1m38.950s, a second quicker than he achieved on Day 1.

For Ferrari, however, while they completed plenty of mileage (239 laps in total) and finished second to Mercedes on both days, it was two incidents on the track that gained attention.

First, Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez were involved in contact at Turn 11 on Tuesday, sending the German into a spin. Then, on Wednesday, Charles Leclerc would go into the barriers on the exit of Turn 13 causing a red flag.

The marathon runners across the two days were Toro Rosso as Daniil Kvyat and Sean Gelael combined for 139 laps before Pierre Gasly added 146 of his own on Day 2, making for a combined 285 tours of the Yas Marina Circuit.

In terms of lap times, Kvyat and Gasly both set a 1m38.1s, that put the Russian third fastest on Tuesday and his teammate fourth fastest on Wednesday.

That's because Racing Point upped their pace on the second day, with Lance Stroll third as the only non-Mercedes or Ferrari to go sub-1m38s.

Haas sat only four laps behind Toro Rosso in the distance covered list, while Romain Grosjean was fifth fastest on Tuesday and development driver Pietro Fittipaldi eighth on Wednesday.

After a highly successful season, McLaren was only sixth and fifth fastest respectively across the two days.

Red Bull was also quiet with Max Verstappen and Alex Albon only seventh fastest on each day though did exceed 260 laps in total.

Alfa Romeo lagged towards the bottom of the timesheet on both days as Williams shared track time across their 2020 drivers Russell and Nicholas Latifi, as well as F2 driver Roy Nissany.

The Israeli would end slowest on both days, three seconds off the pace from the rest of the field.

Test times across two days

POS Name Team Time
1.  Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes  1m37.124s (Day 1)
2.  George Russell  Mercedes  1m37.204s (Day 2)
3.  Lance Stroll  Racing Point  1m37.999s (Day2)
4.  Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso  1m38.166s (Day 2)
5.  Daniil Kvyat  Toro Rosso  1m38.183s (Day 1)
6.  Sergio Perez Racing Point  1m38.434s (Day 1)
7.  Carlos Sainz  McLaren  1m38.729s (Day 2)
8.  Esteban Ocon  Renault  1m38.950s (Day 2)
9.  Alex Albon  Red Bull  1m39.181s (Day 2)
10.  Romain Grosjean  Haas

 1m39.536s (Day 1)

11.  Pietro Fittipaldi  Haas  1m39.683s (Day 2)
12.  Lando Norris  McLaren  1m39.741s (Day 1)
13.  Antonio Giovinazzi    Alfa Romeo  1m39.811s (Day 2)
14.  Max Verstappen  Red Bull 1m39.926s (Day 1)
15.  Nicholas Latifi  Williams 1m40.188s (Day 2)
16. George Russell  Williams  1m40.368s (Day 1)
17.  Kimi Raikkonen  Alfa Romeo  1m40.903s (Day 1)
18.  Sean Gelael  Toro Rosso  1m41.640s (Day 1)
19.  Roy Nissany  Williams  1m43.892s (Day 2)
     

 

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