Formula One

Abu Dhabi post-season test underway after initial delays

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Just a day and a half after the Formula 1 season came to an end on Sunday evening in Abu Dhabi, Formula 1 teams were back on track at Yas Marina for their final official day of track activity.

The traditional post-season young driver test is to allow a full day of testing for up and coming stars, including many of those who took part in first practice at the weekend.

Jake Dennis is back in action for Red Bull with Fred Vesti once again behind the wheel of the Mercedes and Robert Shwartzman fulfilling his reserve driver duties for Ferrari.

IndyStar Pato O’Ward gets another run at McLaren, and Felipe Drugovich is back at Aston Martin having been ‘top rookie’ in FP1 on Friday. Jack Doohan gets more time in the Alpine, and Zak O’Sullivan returns for Williams.

Newly crowned F2 champion Théo Pourchaire is in for Alfa Romeo, while Ollie Bearman is joined at Haas by the team’s long term reserve and test driver Pietro Fittipaldi who is on hand running separate testing for Pirelli.

Brand new faces on show today are Formula 2 star Ayumu Iwasa from Japan who has been tapped to show what he can do in the AlphaTauri, while Argentine-Italian racing drive Franco Alejandro Colapinto turns out for Williams.

A number of regular drivers have also delayed their winter break for one last spin in 2023, including George Russell, Sergio Perez and both Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz splitting the day.

Oscar Piastri is on hand for McLaren, with Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso sharing duties for Aston Martin, Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant doing likewise at Williams, and Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda both here for AlphaTauri.

Esteban Ocon joins Doohan in the Alpine line-up, and Zhou Guanyu completes the full day’s line-up at Alfa Romeo.

Zhou Guanyu (CHN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team C43.
28.11.2023. Formula 1 Testing, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Tuesday.
- www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

The session was due to get underway at 5am GMT, but there was a delay because the medical helicopter was not in place. Teams were told “When you hear the helicopter it’ll nearly be time to start.”

After a 25 minute wait, everything was place and the first cars started heading out on track to get the end-of-term party started.

However just over half an hour later there was a red flag, with water having leaked onto the track under the hotel complex bridge between turns 13 and 14 that needed to be cleaned up.

Zhou Guanyu (CHN) Alfa Romeo F1 Team C43.
28.11.2023. Formula 1 Testing, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Tuesday.
- www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Moy / XPB Images

After that was attended to, teams were finally able to get to work. The full time drivers who were quick to top the timesheets included Perez on 1:25.168s with Carlos Sainz subsequently faster having completed 33 laps by mid-morning.

Despite the early delays, the session will finish on schedule at 2pm GMT (6pm local time) as the sun sets, allowing a spell of running under the floodlights before the chequered flag.

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Abu Dhabi post-season test underway after initial delays F1i.com.

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