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Leclerc fastest on Ferrari debut as F1 2018 concludes at Abu Dhabi test

Testing – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc wrapped up Formula 1 2018’s track action by going quickest on his first day with the team.

Making his debut in red overalls after his signing to Scuderia Ferrari for 2019, Charles Leclerc wasted no time in stamping his authority at the top of the timing screens on Day 2 of the Pirelli test.

Taking up where teammate Sebastian Vettel left off on Tuesday, Leclerc put in a best time of 1:36.450 to go quickest overall for the test, some 0.3 clear of Vettel’s best time. Leclerc did 130 laps in total over the day.

Ferrari Leclerc
Scuderia Ferrari S.p..A

Red Bull Racing’s Pierre Gasly also has changed allegiances since the race on Sunday, having driven for Toro Rosso in 2018. He piloted his RB14 to P2 on the timing screens with a best time of 1:37.935 some 1.5 seconds off Leclerc’s time.

P3 went to Lance Stroll, driving for Force India for the second consecutive day after taking over from Sergio Perez’s morning run on Tuesday. He put in 117 laps, with Valtteri Bottas adding to his 100+ lap run from Tuesday by racking up 143 laps on Day 2 and finishing P4.

Carlos Sainz, making his first appearance in McLaren overalls after leaving Renault, finished P5 as he adjusted to the MCL33. He did 141 laps and finished ahead of the car he jumped out of on Sunday – Renault’s Artem Markelov was P6. Markelov was given the test day as Renault were unable to utilise their 2019 race driver Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull Racing opted not to release him ahead of his contracted end date.

Behind Markelov was compatriot Daniil Kvyat. The popular Russian is back in Formula 1 after being dumped by Red Bull’s Toro Rosso squad last year and his first go in the Toro Rosso-Honda resulted in 150 laps of Yas Marina and a best time good enough for P7.

Louis Deletraz, son of 90s F1 driver Jean-Denis, became another second-generation driver to pilot the Haas VF 18. He finished in P8 with 107 laps, almost double what Pietro Fittipaldi achieved on Day 1 after a Ferrari power unit electrical issue.

Williams’ Robert Kubica finished P9 as he drove the morning session for Williams, finishing ahead of his new 2019 teammate George Russell – the young British racer was P11 having only done 32 laps during the afternoon. The pair were split by Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi, who brought out the red flag when he ground to a halt in the tunnel pit lane exit.

Here are the complete times from Day 2 at Yas Marina

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Thomas Maher

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