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

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
Load comments
The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021