Teams report from day two of the Pirelli tyre test at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Full report here>>>
George Russell was behind the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+ on the second day of the post-season test, clocking in over 800 kilometres at Yas Marina. He completed a total of 145 laps, the second-most laps of the day, his fastest lap was a 1:37.204 which put him top of the timing board. The team did a range of tests to analyse and understand the Pirelli tyres for the 2020 season.
George Russell: “It’s been a pleasure driving the championship-winning W10 today. We tested the 2020 tyres and I’ve learned a huge amount about them which I’m sure will help both myself and the team going into next season, which is very positive. It’s been an enjoyable day at the track and I’ll get more track-time in next week when I’ll do the tyre development test for Pirelli before my season finally comes to a close. I’m excited for a few days off to relax a little before I’m back to my training regime to get the best possible preparation for 2020. My first season in Formula One has been a steep learning curve and I’m already looking forward to Australia when we go racing again next year.”
Andrew Shovlin: “It was good to be able to work with George again today and he did a great job to get over 800 kilometres and fastest lap of the day. The car has run faultlessly over the last two days which has allowed us to get through a lot of work. We spent more time today working on getting the most out of the 2020 tyres and we have made good progress in understanding what they need in terms of set-up. We also completed a compound scan in the morning which gives us some data to select the tyres for the opening races and did some work on the softest compound – the C5 – on which George set his fastest lap. That’s not quite it for the W10 as we will be converting Valtteri’s race chassis over the next few days into the mule car to do our first 18-inch tyre development test for Pirelli. George is going to stay here to do the driving for that test, so it’s been very useful to him to get familiar with our car today in preparation for that work which starts on Sunday.”
Charles Leclerc finished the final test day of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow a couple of hours earlier than planned, after he crashed into the barriers at Turn 14. He emerged unscathed, however there was quite a bit of damage to the SF90. Once the extent of the work required to get it track worthy again had been assessed with the car back in the garage, it was decided to call a halt to the Abu Dhabi test. Up until then, Charles had completed 103 laps, almost double the race distance from Sunday’s Grand Prix, giving the team plenty of data.
Morning. As was the case yesterday, when Sebastian Vettel was in the cockpit, Leclerc began by driving around 20 laps with various measuring devices fitted to the car. On the stroke of ten, the test then became exclusively limited to tyre evaluation and Leclerc started a series of runs, comparing the 2019 tyres and the compounds Pirelli is working on for 2020.
Lunch break. The morning programme ended at noon, at which point various components that had reached the end of their life were replaced, before getting the car back out on track at 13h00. Charles continued work on tyre evaluation, with short and long runs to evaluate them in all conditions.
Over 100 laps. Leclerc and his SF90 covered a total of 103 laps, the best in 1’37”401 on the C5 compound, which ended up being the second fastest time of the day behind George Russell in the Mercedes. The crash at turn 14 came around 16h00 when the driver lost control going over a kerb, thus ending the year of track activity for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow. The F1 cars will be back in action for the first day of pre-season testing on 19 February 2020, at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit.
Charles Leclerc: “This was our last day on track and I think it was useful, despite the accident which meant I had to stop early. We did a lot of comparison testing of the 2020 tyres up against this year’s and acquired a lot of data which will now be analysed in depth. Now we can switch off for a while, but I will never forget my first season with Scuderia Ferrari and I’m sure that it won’t be long until I want to be back on track.”
Renault F1 Team’s Esteban Ocon completed 205 laps at the wheel of the Renault R.S.19 across two days testing in Abu Dhabi, to officially conclude the 2019 season. Esteban drove 77 laps on Day 1 and 128 laps on Day 2 at the Yas Marina Circuit, as he continued to acclimatise to the car and the team ahead of next year’s 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship where he will partner Daniel Ricciardo in yellow. This week’s test primarily focused on evaluating Pirelli’s 2020 tyre range and running comparisons with this year’s compounds. For the team, it was beneficial to bed Esteban in before the winter break with pre-season testing in Barcelona just 76 days away.
Esteban Ocon: “It’s been a busy two days in Abu Dhabi with a great outcome to write 2019 off with a nice ending. Today, especially, was very productive; it was probably worth two days of testing. We worked through a lot of things, which was very useful. I was getting used to everything again and growing more comfortable on each run. There were some important details cleared on my side and we also identified some areas we need to work on over the winter. I would like to thank Renault for this opportunity, I wish all the team a great winter after a busy season and I look forward to seeing them again soon.”
Alan Permane, Sporting Director: “This week’s test has been very good with Esteban in the team. We drove 205 laps, with the car, and Esteban, running faultlessly. You wouldn’t know he hadn’t been driving regularly, given his excellent fitness and ability to keep consistent. His feedback was good, and we had no issues at all. It means we are well prepared for our winter campaign and we can go into next year ready to hit the ground running.”
Carlos Sainz: “Another good day of testing. I obviously have good memories from the 2018 Abu Dhabi test when I jumped into a McLaren for the first time. Also, testing again this year has given me a chance to compare and feel the progress we’ve made since last season. But apart from that, the test day itself ran smoothly trying the Pirelli compounds. In general, I’m pleased and happy with how everything went. A big, big thank you to the mechanics and the team for the effort that they’ve put in during testing with all the long hours. It was great to sign off the 2019 season with 112 laps and a lot of data for next season.”
Andrea Stella, Performance Director: “Another productive day of testing and although we had little delays, we again clocked up over 600km and ran without any major issues to entirely accomplish our set programme. Over the two days, we’ve learned extensively about the 2020 tyre and have been able to compare them with the current 2019 tyre – important information that will be extremely useful to both Pirelli and ourselves. A good end to 2019 and a big thank you to everyone here in Abu Dhabi and also back at the McLaren Technology Centre for their tremendous efforts this year.”
Haas F1 Team test driver Pietro Fittipaldi drove the VF-19 on the second and final day of post-season testing Wednesday at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi. A total of 11 drivers participated in the test representing all 10 teams to have contested the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship. Wednesday’s outing marked Fittipaldi’s fourth stint behind the wheel of the VF-19 in 2019 following runs in Barcelona in February during pre-season testing, as well as in-season tests in Bahrain and Barcelona in April and May respectively. The 23-year-old recorded 135 laps around the 5.554-kilometer (3.451-mile), 21-turn Yas Marina Circuit – the same track where the Miami-born Brazilian made his Formula One test debut last November in the Haas VF-18. Fittipaldi clocked the 8th quickest time of the day courtesy of a 1:39.682 lap utilizing the 2019 Pirelli C5 tire compound. George Russell banked Wednesday’s fastest lap for Mercedes – a 1:37.204, while Toro Rosso logged the most laps with Pierre Gasly (146). Haas F1 Team finished the final test of the year accumulating 281 laps and 1560.674 kilometers (969.731 miles) between Grosjean (146 laps) and Fittipaldi (135 laps).
Pietro Fittipaldi: “It was really good to be back testing, it’s been six months since I was last in the car in May at Barcelona. We got a lot of laps in today, a lot of long runs, which was good. I’ve been racing DTM this season, so then you come into a Formula One car and you get hit with the g-forces again through the corners, it’s really physical if you haven’t been driving one for a while. That said, I’m always happy to get into a Formula One car. Crucially we did everything we wanted to do today in terms of the run plan. We ran some pretty good laps and tested the 2019 tires versus the 2020 ones – mixing it up over some short and long runs to see the differences. It’s been really good, I’m happy with our day, and of course I’ve enjoyed working with the whole team.”
Dave Robson, Senior Race Engineer: “We completed the 2019 campaign with a very productive day of testing here in Abu Dhabi. Roy began the day collecting important aero data before completing the tyre testing that he began yesterday. Once again, he drove confidently, professionally, and proficiently and provided us with some very valuable feedback on the 2020 tyres. Nicholas drove for the final six hours of the day to get his first experience of the new tyres on a warm track. He completed a similar programme to the one that Georg ran yesterday, but this time concentrating on getting the best performance out of the 2020 C4 compound. As he has done in each of the FP1 sessions that he has driven this season, he gave some very good feedback and helped guide our long run programme this afternoon. This was valuable experience for both us and Nicholas and we now head back to the factory with a lot of new information on the tyres, which will help inform our choices of compound for both winter testing and the opening races of next season. It is nice to have ended this season with a very useful and productive two days of testing. It is testament to the entire team that the car ran reliably and effectively throughout, completing 273 laps. The post-season test is always hard work, but to do this at the end of such a long season is a huge ask of the mechanics who have spent the last ten months on the road. At the end of this season, in particular, they deserve a lot of credit for pushing to the end and ensuring that we completed such a successful test. They are supported throughout the season by a superb garage support group as well as our wonderful marketing, media and catering teams. We thank all of them for their unwavering help, support, good humour and unlimited cups of tea. Without them, the track would be a considerably less enjoyable place to be. We wish them all a well-earned break and a very merry Christmas.
Nicholas Latifi: “It was a good day, there were a lot of laps in a short space of time. It was very productive as I got to experience the new 2020 tyres, which will be good experience going into next year. I ran these on low fuel, quali style runs and then, more importantly, full fuel race simulations which I had yet to experience. The afternoon ran pretty smoothly, we had no issues and I am very pleased with my first official day in the new job.”
Roy Nissany: “Again, it was another great day. We started this morning with some aero rakes and a lot of engineering testing. It was very productive, for myself, and for the team. We did a lot of long runs, and I made some good improvements throughout the session. Overall, I am very happy with my performance in the test and I hope the team feels the same way.”