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Vettel quickest; Raikkonen makes Sauber debut – Testing Day 1 Report

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel went quickest on the opening day of the Pirelli test in Abu Dhabi.

The two day Pirelli test at Yas Marina Circuit got underway on Tuesday, with Sebastian Vettel getting straight back to work after his podium finish on Sunday. The German driver put in a time of 1:36.812 on the HyperSoft tyre to finish the day quickest. He put in 67 laps over the day, a relatively low amount compared to others. He also curtailed his own running early in the day because of a spin into the barriers at Turn 1, but was able to resume later.

Valtteri Bottas finished P2 on the timesheets. He clocked in 120 laps with a best time 0.6 seconds off Vettel’s, with his best time set on the new HyperSoft prototype for 2019.

In third place was Lance Stroll, making his first appearance for Force India ahead of his expected announcement as their full time race driver. He took over for the team’s afternoon running, finishing P3 on the HyperSofts. He did 56 laps and finished 0.2 behind Bottas.

Max Verstappen was P4 for Red Bull Racing, putting in 131 laps. His best time of 1:37.947 was set on the UltraSoft. Sergio Perez, who drove the morning session for Force India, was P5, ahead of Lando Norris’ McLaren.

Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault was P7, having been flipped the right way up after his crash during Sunday’s race. The German driver put in 128 laps to finish ahead of Haas’ development driver Pietro Fittipaldi. An engine issue for the Haas team meant he only put in 54 laps over the course of the day.

Williams also split their running. Robert Kubica drove in the afternoon and finished P9, 0.3 seconds clear of George Russell, who drove the morning session. They did 80 laps between them.

Outside the top ten was Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn made his debut appearance for Sauber after being given permission by Ferrari, but competed in plain white overalls as he remains under contract with the Scuderia until January 1st. He put in 102 laps over the day with a best time of 1:39.878 and was the cause of one of the day’s red flags when he ground to a halt on the back straight with an apparent engine issue.

Sean Gelael finished bottom of the list, P12 for Toro Rosso.

View the full results and tyre compounds used here.


Thomas Maher

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