The final track action of the year for F1 has come to an end now, with two days of testing in Abu Dhabi, where the new 18 inch tyres got tested with a few familiar names!
It was Nyck de Vries who topped the table with the fastest time which is a popular spot for the Mercedes crew, the reserve driver completed 77 laps in the W12 with a 1m 23.194s which put him clear of the field by 1.5s.
The young driver test runners, took the top seven positions with Red Bull junior Liam Lawson in the Alpha Tauri ending up 2nd, with the Formula 2 Champion Oscar Piastri in third with Alpine.
Pato O’Ward was testing for McLaren, managed 92 laps in his F1 debut, who managed 4th fastest, he was then followed by newbie Guanyu Zhou who ended up being half a second off O’Ward. We then had another Red Bull Junior, this time Juri Vips in the Red Bull. The F2 driver was responsible for one of three red flags during the day as he hit the barrier exiting Turn 14.
Aston Martin simulator driver Nick Yelloly was seventh overall, a little under 2.2s of Nyck. Alongside the young drivers in current cars, teams were also running mule cars to test the 18 inch tyres. Ricciardo was nearly a second slower Yelloly but 0.3s clear of Stroll in the adapted Aston- who caused the first red flag of the day around 90 minutes in due to a mechanical issue.
The final interruption of the day came from the Williams of Logan Sargeant where he had a power unit problem which ended his day earlier than expected, he ended up 15th overall.
Bottas managed 127 laps in his Alfa Romeo, as the Mercedes of George Russell managed 131- both starting work at their new teams ahead of the season. We then had our new world champion Max Verstappen completing 123 laps who was also giving advice to Vips in-between breaks.
On the final day of testing we saw Robert Shwartzman who was driving the Haas top the session the Russian’s best time being a 1m 25.348s put him half a second clear of Lando Norris who was using the adapted McLaren car which was carrying an LED panel display on the rear wheel covers.
Russell was fourth fastest with the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel in third by just 0.025 between the pair. Vettel was the only one to cause a red flag during today- he stopped on track with a technical issues but the action soon returned.
Gasly was fifth fastest just 0.047s off Russell’s best time, Sainz was in sixth who had the highest total of laps out of the Wednesday runners with 151 laps.
We then had Pietro Fittipaldi who is standing in for Nikita Mazepin due to him testing positive for Covid on Sunday. Fittipaldi was just 0.1s off team-mate Mick Schumacher on the same tyre compound.