Leclerc leads second morning of Abu Dhabi test

Charles Leclerc started life as a Ferrari Formula 1 driver by beating Sebastian Vettel's Tuesday benchmark and topping the times as the second day of testing began in Abu Dhabi.

Leclerc leads second morning of Abu Dhabi test
Listen to this article

The Monegasque is preparing for his graduation to Ferrari in 2019 after ending his rookie season with Sauber in last weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Leclerc has driven for Ferrari before, including a run at Monza earlier this year, but predicted his first test as an official race driver would be an "emotional" and "special" experience.

He kicked it off by setting the fastest time across the opening four hours of Wednesday's running, which will continue for a further five hours until 6pm local time.

Leclerc moved to the top of the times in the second hour with a 1m36.938s, then shaved two hundredths off that later in the morning, leaving him just over a tenth slower than his 2019 teammate Vettel's benchmark on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old then went even quicker shortly after midday, setting a 1m36.559s – almost three tenths clear of Vettel's best.

Testing photos:

Like Leclerc, Pierre Gasly is getting a taste of one of F1's current big-three teams in the test as he appeared for Red Bull ahead of his own 2019 move.

Gasly, who last drove a Red Bull in testing in August 2017, set the second-fastest time, 1.4s slower than Leclerc after his own improvement in the fourth hour.

Unconfirmed-but-expected Racing Point Force India driver Lance Stroll reappeared for the team after wearing pink for the first time on Tuesday.

Stroll set the third-best time, joining the top two in improving after midday and lapping just 0.07s slower than Gasly.

Valtteri Bottas continued for a second day of testing at Mercedes and was fourth quickest after the first four hours.

Daniil Kvyat got back behind the wheel of a Toro Rosso for the first time since being dropped after the 2017 United States Grand Prix.

The recalled Russian completed the top five, 2.3s slower than Leclerc.

His compatriot Artem Markelov was next up for Renault, while Louis Deletraz made his F1 testing bow with Haas to run seventh fastest with a best time of 1m40.153s set in the second hour.

That put him two tenths clear of new McLaren man Carlos Sainz, taking part in his maiden outing with the Woking team.

Antonio Giovinazzi took over from Kimi Raikkonen at Sauber and went eighth fastest, ahead of Renault's Artem Markelov.

Robert Kubica reappeared for Williams but did not representative times in the morning. He will hand over to 2019 teammate George Russell for the rest of the day.

Pos Driver Car Time Laps
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF71H 1'36.559 54
2 Pierre Gasly Red Bull RB14 1'37.976 63
3 Lance Stroll Force India VJM11 1'38.044 47
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes F1 W09 EQ Power+ 1'38.590 78
5 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso STR13 1'38.862 52
6 Artem Markelov Renault R.S.18 1'39.240 47
7 Louis Deletraz Haas VF-18 1'40.154 51
8 Carlos Sainz McLaren MCL33 1'40.383 59
9 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber C37 1'40.435 41
10 Robert Kubica Williams FW41 1'44.208 39

 

 
shares
comments
Haas chooses not to appeal failed Force India protest
Previous article

Haas chooses not to appeal failed Force India protest

Next article

Hamilton, Vettel: Verstappen ready for F1 title push

Hamilton, Vettel: Verstappen ready for F1 title push
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon Prime

The physical focus bringing out the best from Esteban Ocon

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s teammate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy Prime

How Red Bull's dynamic leader Mateschitz shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Prime

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Prime

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second-best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot.

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022