Vandoorne ends Abu Dhabi tyre test on top

Stoffel Vandoorne rounded off a difficult Formula 1 season for McLaren by topping the timesheets in Tuesday's Pirelli tyre test at Abu Dhabi.

The Belgian ended up 0.353s clear of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen at the end of the 12-hour test, having completed 99 laps of the Yas Marina circuit.

Marcus Ericsson was third fastest for Sauber, a mere 0.024s behind Raikkonen, with Jolyon Palmer just behind in his final outing as a test driver for Lotus before he steps up to a race seat.

Sebastian Vettel was fifth, half a second slower than his teammate, and ahead of fellow countryman Pascal Wehrlein, who completed the most laps of any driver with 107.

Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull), Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso), Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) and Valtteri Bottas (Williams) completed the top 10.

Alfonso Celis Jr completed his first F1 test session for Force India in 14th, ending up some 2.7s behind Hulkenberg, while Jordan King propped up the table in his first F1 outing, trailing fellow Manor driver Rio Haryanto.

After around 90 minutes of running on the 2015 Pirelli soft and supersoft tyres, teams were allocated unmarked prototype tyres. These included several variations of the planned 'ultrasoft' compound, one of which will be selected for use next season, as well as new constructions of both front and rear tyres.

The teams were not told which specification of prototype tyres they were running, and were not permitted to try out any new parts.

"We had one shot when it came to testing tyres for next season, and we can be satisfied by what we’ve achieved in this test, even if we have to fully analyse the data," said Pirelli's Paul Hembery.

"The ultrasoft’s target for 2016 is to introduce a compound softer than the supersoft and mainly designed as an aggressive choice for street circuits, in order to allow teams to take a more aggressive approach to race strategy.

"Whether this will produce more pit stops, or any difference in strategies, it’s too early to say for now," added Hembery, "but it seems we are heading in the right direction. The ultrasoft is expected to offer more possibilities for certain races."

Full testing times:

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1  Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1m44.103s 99
2  Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m44.456s 56
3  Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1m44.480s 50
4  Jolyon Palmer Lotus 1m44.568s 90
5  Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m44.940s 56
6  Pascal Wehrlein Mercedes 1m45.605s 107
7  Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m45.805s 57
8  Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1m45.849s 54
9  Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m45.852s 71
10  Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m45.940s 103
11  Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1m46.309s 48
12  Carlos Sainz  Toro Rosso 1m46.995s 56
13  Adderly Fong Sauber            1m48.439s 57
14  Alfonso Celis  Force India 1m48.545s 65
15  Rio Haryanto Manor 1m49.593s 56
16  Jordan King Manor 1m49.661s 59

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Abu Dhabi November testing
Sub-event Tuesday
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Drivers Stoffel Vandoorne
Teams McLaren
Article type Testing report