Everything that's happened at the F1 post season test in Yas Marina
Carlos Sainz leads 1-2-3 ahead of Charles Leclerc and young driver Robert Shwartzman in Abu Dhabi post season test.Verstappen and Hamilton also took part, while Fernando Alonso, Pierre Gasly, Nico Hulkenberg and Oscar Piastri made debuts for new teams.
The one day test which was held two days after the last race of the season was largely a tyre test for Pirelli's new 2023 compounds, while all 10 teams were also required to test young drivers in their second cars.
That led to a jam packed timesheet, with 24 drivers in action over the day, and Ferrari even locked out the top three positions.
The unusual 1-2-3 feat was achieved by race drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz sharing the day in the mandatory tyre test, while Robert Shwartzman fulfilled the young driver test requirement.
Leclerc drove in the morning for Ferrari and topped the times from the opening hour until Sainz took over and lapped just over a tenth of a second faster in the afternoon, although this was still 1.4sec slower than Max Verstappen’s pole time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, indicating how unrepresentative the laptimes from this test are.
Shwartzman was a couple of hundredths slower than Leclerc and four tenths clear of Pierre Gasly, who jumped up to fourth late on in his first appearance for Alpine.
World champion Verstappen took over Red Bull’s tyre test work in the afternoon from teammate Sergio Perez and was fifth ahead of Alex Albon, who was just over a tenth quicker than his incoming 2023 Williams teammate Logan Sargeant.
Nyck de Vries was eighth fastest in his first appearance for AlphaTauri ahead of racing for the team next year, and was the busiest driver completing 151 laps just under 500 miles of the Yas Marina circuit.
Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Red Bull young driver Liam Lawson completed the top 10.
Fernando Alonso ended the day 12th fastest as he drove his Aston Martin without any sponsor stickers, because of his Alpine contract. He was also half a tenth slower than Stroll on his first appearance for Aston Martin.
Another driver to leave Alpine this year Piastri ended up 14th overall on his public debut for McLaren and comfortably exceeded 100 laps despite causing the first red flag of the day when he stopped at Turn 7.
Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas debut ended with him 19th fastest and a couple of tenths quicker than reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi, and he completed over 100 laps on his F1 comeback despite an early morning stoppage.
With 2023 Pirelli tyres and teams having different allocations and programmes for each driver, laptimes are particularly meaningless even beyond the usual caveats of testing with a lack of knowledge about fuel loads or engine modes.
The new 2022 regulations has given teams the opportunity to to give young drivers some much needed F1 opportunities.
Mercedes ran F1 debutant Frederik Vesti, for example, while fellow F2 drivers Jack Doohan, Liam Lawson and Theo Pourchaire returned for Alpine, Red Bull and Alfa Romeo respectively.
Plus, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Haas were able to hand some mileage to their test drivers Shwartzman, Felipe Drugovich and Fittipaldi.