Yas Marina Test Day 1: Team & Driver Reports

Teams report from day one of the Pirelli tyre test at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Full report here>>>


Valtteri Bottas completed 138 laps at the Yas Marina Circuit on his last day behind the wheel of the championship-winning Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+. Valtteri had a productive day of testing, completing more than two full race distances (766.452 km) and his best time of 1:37.124 put him top of the timing board. The team focused on long runs with the 2020 Pirelli tyres, learning about the characteristics of the different compounds. The team also spent time comparing the 2019 and 2020 tyres

Valtteri Bottas: “It’s been a very productive day today, we did more than 750 kilometres. We’ve been learning about the 2020 tyres and how they compare to this year’s tyres. We gathered a lot of data for the team to analyse over the coming weeks. I still have a few more team commitments before I eventually leave for the holidays and I’ll head off for the break with a positive mindset after a strong season and a good last day of testing with this year’s car.”

Andrew Shovlin: “It’s been a busy day; we completed 760km, the car has run well and Valtteri has given us some good feedback on the new tyres. There’s a lot of data to go through to understand the differences between the new and old tyres and we’ll have to get through that before drawing any conclusions. It’s quite difficult testing during the daytime as the track temperature is changing almost every run, which you need to factor into your analysis. We’ve got George in the car tomorrow for the final day and another busy programme planned.”


Just over 36 hours on from the final Grand Prix of the 2019 season, Sebastian Vettel was back on track in Abu Dhabi for the first of two days testing which marks the end of the year. The Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow driver completed 136 laps, equivalent to 755 kilometres, twice Sunday’s race distance.
First hour. In the first 60 minutes, the teams were allowed to fit aero measurement devices to the cars. In this configuration, Sebastian did four runs with rakes and other data collection sensors.
Morning. After 10am, the Pirelli test programme began with teams running a comparison between the 2019 and 2020 Pirelli tyres, for the first time since they initially tried next year’s rubber during free practice for the United States Grand Prix in Austin. Back then, testing had been inconclusive because of the very cold weather and the fact that the Circuit of the Americas track is very bumpy. Shortly after noon, the team spotted an anomaly on the SF90s exhaust system and brought Sebastian in early to check out the problem.
Afternoon. The German was back on track before 13.30 and then got through the programme without a hitch. Vettel tried all the compounds available, both 2019 and 2020, doing several long runs. His best time of 1’37”891 was set at the start of the afternoon on the C5 compound and ended up being the second best of the day behind Valtteri Bottas’ 1’37”124. Charles Leclerc will be at the wheel for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow tomorrow, the year’s last day of track action.

Sebastian Vettel: It was a useful day to get a proper idea of the 2020 tyres in comparison with this year’s. So today, a comparison was our main task and we tried to maximize the track time, completing well over 100 laps. Tomorrow there’s another day to evaluate the tyres with Charles and it will be important to record his feedback.”


The first of two test days at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi began Tuesday with Romain Grosjean steering the Haas VF-19 for the final time in 2019. He accumulated 146 laps working through a program of comparison runs between Pirelli’s 2019 tires and proposed 2020 compounds. His fastest time, a 1:39.526, was set on the 2020 C5 rubber – placing him 5th overall on the timesheet.
Test driver Pietro Fittipaldi takes over the Haas VF-19 on Wednesday for the final day of F1 testing at Yas Marina Circuit.

Romain Grosjean: “We’ve had a good test checking the 2019 tires versus the 2020 ones. We were seeing what we can prepare for next year, and which ones are better to run. I think it was a very positive day. The preparation was excellent, and the team have done a good job – I’m very happy with that. We made a few minor tweaks to the car to see what we can learn for the future – some things were positive. I’m looking forward to meeting our 2020 challenger.”


Lando Norris: “It’s a Pirelli test so obviously we’ve been trying out lots of tyres today, 2019 and 2020 compounds, and conducting back-to-back comparisons. Short performance runs but also long runs without changing anything on the car so that tyres can be compared. But it was also a good day for me to explore different driving styles and techniques. Overall, it’s been a productive day with good mileage achieved and with both the team and I learning a lot. Carlos takes over tomorrow so another opportunity for data gathering for next year.”

Andrea Stella, Performance Director: “It’s been a very productive testing day. We’ve run without any problems or delays and we were able to get through our programme, which was very busy. We’re happy that we could conclude it with all the test items having been done. We had test items related to measurements with rakes in the first hour, as allowed by the regulations, and then we started to go through the programme associated with understanding candidate tyres for 2020, comparing them with 2019. I think we have very valuable information, and we hope to have another good day tomorrow and finish this season positively.”


Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: “George was back in the car this morning, fresh from a strong performance during the race on Sunday. We took the opportunity to explore the 2020 tyre offering from Pirelli and completed a series of comparison runs on several of the proposed 2020 compounds, using the 2019 tyres as the baseline. We were able to evaluate the performance in both short and long runs as we worked to maximise the potential of the new tyres.
“George enjoyed a clean morning with no track disruptions and was able to get a good understanding of how the 2020 tyres will perform at higher track temperatures. Once George had completed his tyre programme, we prepared the car for Roy Nissany who made his debut in the FW42 this afternoon. The main objectives with Roy were to get him comfortable in the car and to give him his first experience of the FW42 whilst gathering his thoughts on the 2020 tyres. We completed all these objectives without issue and Roy did an excellent job on his first day with the Team.
“Roy will continue in the car tomorrow morning and will complete the aero rake running that is permitted during the first hour of each day. After that he will complete some clean car running before handing the car over to Nicholas, who will spend the rest of the day completing our tyre testing programme and generally preparing himself for his debut Formula One race in Melbourne in little over 3 months’ time.”

George Russell: It was a productive day in the car. We ran five sets of 2020 tyres and gathered some useful information, which will benefit us next season. I am looking forward to Australia and going racing again.

Roy Nissany: “Firstly, I feel great. You know that feeling that you like your job and you know what you are doing. It took me four laps to get comfortable in the car, and from there on it was just building up my pace and confidence.
“We were improving and making our best laps until the end, and we made a few changes according to my wishes. I now feel confident in the car, with a lot of potential in our pocket so that tomorrow morning will be exactly what we need for the last improvements in 2019.”

Report in progress…