Bottas tops first day of Abu Dhabi F1 test, Perez spins Vettel

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas topped the first day of the post-season Formula 1 test in Abu Dhabi, as Esteban Ocon made his debut as a Renault race driver.

Bottas tops first day of Abu Dhabi F1 test, Perez spins Vettel

Ocon replaces Nico Hulkenberg alongside Daniel Ricciardo in Renault’s driver line-up for next season and got behind the wheel of the team’s 2019 car for the first time on Tuesday.

He clocked 77 laps and set the eighth-fastest time, 2.8s off the pace.

That was set by Mercedes driver Bottas, who was the busiest driver early on before ending the day with a 138-lap tally – only Max Verstappen (153) and Romain Grosjean (146) completed more.

Each team has 10 sets of tyres to use on each day of the two-day test, with a mix of 2019 compounds and the controversial 2020 rubber.

Teams have five different 2019 compounds and six 2020 compounds to choose from in the test.

Bottas’s benchmark time, a 1m37.124s, was eight tenths of a second faster than the next-best, Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari.

Vettel lost an hour of running in the morning with an exhaust issue, but eventually racked up just two fewer laps than Bottas on his way to a 1m37.911s.

He had a collision with the Racing Point of Sergio Perez during the day, and came back to the pits with a puncture.

 

Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat set the third fastest time, a second behind Bottas, ahead of Perez and Grosjean’s Haas.

Kvyat shared his Toro Rosso with Sean Gelael, with the Formula 2 driver taking part in the first half of the day.

Gelael ended the day 11th fastest, 4.5s off the pace, and quicker only than surprise Williams tester Roy Nissany.

Sometime F2 racer Nissany was 7.6s slower than Bottas, 4.4s slower than George Russell after taking over from the regular Williams race driver in the afternoon, and 3.1s slower than the next car (Gelael’s Toro Rosso).

Alfa Romeo brought Kimi Raikkonen’s day to a premature end because of a “technical issue”.

Session results

Pos. Driver Team Tyre
Time Gap Laps
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes C4 '19
1:37.124   138
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari C5 '20
1:37.991 0.867 136
3 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso C5 '20
1:38.183 1.059 72
4 Sergio Perez Racing Point C5 '20
1:38.434 1.310 120
5 Romain Grosjean Haas C5 '20
1:39.526 2.402 146
6 Lando Norris McLaren C5 '20
1:39.741 2.617 125
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull C3 '20
1:39.926 2.802 153
8 Esteban Ocon Renault C4 '20
1:39.962 2.838 77
9 George Russell Williams C5 '20
1:40.368 3.244 87
10 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo C4 '19
1:40.903 3.779 93
11 Sean Gelael Toro Rosso C4 '20
1:41.640 4.516 67
12 Roy Nissany Williams C3 '20
1:44.760 7.636 41

 

shares
comments
Abu Dhabi showed F1 still needs DRS, say drivers

Previous article

Abu Dhabi showed F1 still needs DRS, say drivers

Next article

Ocon: Renault run key in light of 2020's "big problem"

Ocon: Renault run key in light of 2020's "big problem"
Load comments
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021