Nyck de Vries set the fastest time of the first day of testing in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, driving the Mercedes W12. The Formula E World Champion was on track for the Rookie Test at the Yas Marina circuit, along with other young drivers, while the titular drivers were mobilized by the Pirelli program to test the future 18-inch tires for 2022.
De Vries set the best time in 1’23:19 in the last half hour of driving, beating the AlphaTauri entrusted to Liam Lawson 1 “3. Just crowned Formula 2 Champion, Oscar Piastri took third time with the Alpine, just 0.006 behind Lawson. Fourth with the McLaren, Pato O’Ward completed no less than two Grand Prix distances during the day. He was also at the top of the timesheet at midday.
Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou made their first appearance in Alfa Romeo colors. The Finn officially remains a Mercedes driver until the end of the month but had permission from Mercedes to ride with his future team, behind the wheel of a car modified to be fitted with 2022 tires.
Zhou finished the day fifth, ahead of Jüri Vips who drove the Red Bull and also caused one of the three red flags of the day after a spin at turn 14 which damaged his car.
Seventh place goes to Nick Yelloly, Aston Martin development driver, who beat Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian was the fastest of the drivers who drove cars suitable for 18-inch wheels. It also caused the first red flag in the morning.
Lance Stroll is in ninth row in the session ahead Robert Shwartzman, who participated in the afternoon session with Ferrari. The Russian shared his Rookie Test schedule with Antonio Fuoco, who also rode the modified Ferrari with Charles Leclerc, 11th on the day.
Bottas finished 12th ahead of Fuoco and Yuki Tsunoda. Logan Sargeant, for his first time at the wheel of an F1 car, is 15th with the Williams. His day ended prematurely due to an engine problem 90 minutes from the checkered flag, but he had previously completed 92 laps.
Esteban Ocon took 16th fastest time with the Alpine ahead of brand new World Champion Max Verstappen. The two men were ahead of George Russell, who was able to start his adaptation work at Mercedes and will have the opportunity to continue it on Wednesday in the absence of Lewis Hamilton. The 19th place was taken by Mick Schumacher with the Haas.
Abu Dhabi Testing – Day 1