Russell tops F1 test for Mercedes, Leclerc crashes

George Russell made the most of his latest Mercedes opportunity by topping the final day of Formula 1 post-season in Abu Dhabi, as Charles Leclerc crashed his Ferrari.

Russell tops F1 test for Mercedes, Leclerc crashes

Williams race driver Russell took over the Mercedes from Valtteri Bottas for the second day of the Yas Marina test, and outpaced Leclerc by two tenths of a second.

The F1 rookie, who has been a Mercedes protege for several years, lapped a tenth slower than Bottas's Tuesday benchmark – but Mercedes had insisted during the grand prix weekend that Russell's latest test was not a direct comparison with Bottas, who is out of contract after 2020.

Read Also:

Russell's 1m37.204s, more than three seconds quicker than he had lapped on Tuesday in his 2019 Williams, was eight hundredths slower than Mercedes' multiple race winner Bottas.

Leclerc went backwards into the wall at Turn 14, after the chicane that follows the second back straight.

The late-afternoon incident caused a red flag and was more costly than teammate Sebastian Vettel's contact-induced spin on the first day of the test, as Leclerc did not take to the track again.

Despite ending an impressive first year at Ferrari with a crash, Leclerc remained in a positive mood.

"This was our last day of track activity and I believe it was a very useful one for us, in spite of the incident that forced us to stop earlier than planned," Leclerc said.

"We did a lot of tests to evaluate the 2020 tyres in comparison with this year's tyres and we have collected a lot of data that now needs to be analysed.

"Now we can relax a bit and even if I'll never forget my first season with Ferrari I know that soon I'll be raring to get back on track again."

Read Also:

Lance Stroll set the third-fastest time on Wednesday, recovering from a pitlane incident early in the day that was reportedly triggered by Carlos Sainz misjudging the width of his McLaren with aero rakes fitting.

Pierre Gasly was fourth for Toro Rosso and the last driver to lap within a second of Russell, with Sainz fifth.

Esteban Ocon's induction into the Renault F1 team continued with a much more productive second day in which the Frenchman completed 128 laps.

Ocon, who will rejoin the F1 grid next season with the French manufacturer, was sixth fastest on a 1m38.950s.

As well as the various race drivers in action, Pietro Fittipaldi reprised his Haas testing role and set the eighth-fastest time, 2.4s off the pace.

Sometime Formula 2 racer Roy Nissany returned for another half-day at Williams, completing just 38 laps and lapping 6.6s off the pace.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Tyre Laps
1 George Russell Mercedes 1'37.204   C5 2020 145
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'37.401 +0.197s C5 2019 103
3 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1'37.999 +0.795s C5 2020 132
4 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1'38.166 +0.962s C5 2020 146
5 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1'38.729 +1.525s C5 2020 112
6 Esteban Ocon Renault 1'38.950 +1.746s C4 2019 128
7 Alexander Albon Red Bull 1'39.181 +1.977s C4 2019 139
8 Pietro Fittipaldi Haas 1'39.682 +2.478s C5 2019 135
9 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1'39.811 +2.607s C5 2020 115
10 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1'40.188 +2.984s C4 2020 107
11 Roy Nissany Williams FW4 1'43.892 +6.688s C4 2010 38
shares
comments
Leclerc would welcome Hamilton at Ferrari

Previous article

Leclerc would welcome Hamilton at Ferrari

Next article

Red Bull has faith in FIA over F1 engine policing

Red Bull has faith in FIA over F1 engine policing
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Abu Dhabi December Testing
Author Scott Mitchell
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021