Abu Dhabi Test Wraps Up 2023 F1 Season

Abu Dhabi Test Wraps Up 2023 F1 Season
Abu Dhabi Test Wraps Up 2023 F1 Season

With the world championship drawing to a close last Sunday, there was just one more day of testing to be completed at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, with all 10 teams running two cars each.

The programme was split into two parts, with one car reserved for young drivers to gain Formula 1 experience, while the regular race drivers ran the other car in a tyre test. As next year’s compounds will be identical to this year’s, the second part of the test was mainly an opportunity to optimise the car-tyre package. All the information gained, thanks also to extra sensors fitted compared to a usual race weekend, will be shared with Pirelli.

A total of 11 young drivers took to the track, with Williams being the only team to run two of them. Italo-Argentinean driver Franco Colapinto, fourth in Formula 3 this year, drove in the morning before handing the car over to Britain’s Zak O’Sullivan. Many of the young drivers in action today also took part in last Friday’s FP1 – such as Robert Shwartzman for Ferrari, Frederik Vesti for Mercedes, newly-crowned Formula 2 champion Theo Pourchaire with Alfa Romeo, Felipe Drugovich for Aston Martin, Jack Doohan with Alpine, and Pato O’Ward for McLaren – as well as O’Sullivan.

Among the regular drivers on track were George Russell (Mercedes), Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Oscar Piastri (McLaren), Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo (AlphaTauri), Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo), as well as Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant (Williams). Haas didn’t run either of its 2023 race drivers but instead opted for reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi (who can’t be classified as a rookie as he has already driven two grands prix, on both occasions for Haas).

The overall fastest time of 1’24’’393 was set by Esteban Ocon while Pato O’Ward was fastest of the young drivers thanks to a time of 1’24’’662. Temperatures remained high, with asphalt between 25 and 44 degrees centigrade, and ambient temperatures that ranged from 24 to 34 degrees.

The regular drivers each had 10 tyre sets available (one set of C1 and C2, three sets of C3 and C4, plus one set of C5) while the young drivers had eight sets each (two sets of C3, four sets of C4, and two sets of C5).

A total of 2184 laps were covered: 125 on C1 (6%), 138 on C2 (6%), 718 on C3 (33%), 942 on C4 (43%), and 261 on C5 (12%). That’s compared to the 2681 laps that were covered during last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, equivalent to 14158 kilometres.

Postseasontesting Results
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Sergio Perez

“It was a very positive day, there was still lots to learn. It was important to put in the time, I drove more than twice the race distance today and I am pleased with the work we have done. Especially coming straight out of a race here, everything is still super fresh and the track was very representative, especially in the afternoon, so it was a productive test. We collected some good information for next season and it’s a great way to finish such a dominant year.”

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Jake Dennis

“What an amazing car! It was a very special day for me. In FP1 you sort of just jump in and try and survive, whereas today you can push the limits a little bit more and really understand the car. And I think we did just that. Between Checo and I, we got a lot of data for the Team. Obviously, my role today was a little bit different to Checo’s, but from my perspective we’ve got a lot of data to take back to the simulator side and try to improve things further for the RB20 and in general development. I enjoyed every lap out there, it’s been a great day.”

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Gianpiero Lambiase, Red Bull Head of Race Engineering

“We got through everything that we were hoping to achieve today. For Checo, it was a case of tidying up a few areas that he had some remaining question marks over throughout the season, which we completed and got some really good data. For Jake, it was about getting him even more familiar with the car. We looked at some various trade-offs between mechanical and aero test items that he can then look to provide some feedback on for his race support with us on the simulator, which is vital for us in our development for 2024.”

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Jack Doohan

“It’s been a great day and it’s always nice to have a full day’s testing as there’s that little bit more freedom to explore the car. Driving in Free Practice 1 was an amazing experience last week but on test days, there’s much more to do and the programme is a whole lot bigger and more detailed. Today we ran through a busy checklist, assessed various tyre compounds, fuel loads and set-up items and we completed 108 laps. I would say physically that’s a tough challenge but I feel good and it’s important for the team to have all the data. The car felt good and I’m pleased that we executed our programme well. I felt comfortable, happy with the day’s work and now it’s time for a break from driving before we shift focus to working on next year.”

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Zak O’Sullivan

“It’s been an enjoyable day. Of course, for me it was good to have the reference from FP1, so I had a few areas to work on from there. Straight away from the first push lap I was able to match my pace from earlier in the week. It was good to get some proper representative running in also in quite relevant conditions in the middle of the day which was nice. We got through a good sweep of performance runs and race runs. I had more freedom to experiment with things and push a bit harder than FP1. Thanks again to Williams Racing for the opportunity to drive the FW45 this weekend and provide me with valuable experience.” 

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Franco Colapinto

“It’s been incredible to get my first taste of a Formula 1 car and to do it with Williams Racing. It’s hard to describe all the emotions, sensations and feelings I’ve went through today. Since I was very little, I’ve been dreaming of this moment of one day jumping in a Formula 1 car. Being able to drive the FW45 was an amazing experience. It’s been a great way to finish my first year as part of the Williams Racing Driver Academy. I tried to make the most of every lap and learn as much as possible. I’m very grateful to everyone one at Williams Racing for giving me this opportunity and the support they’ve shown.”

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Ayumu Iwasa

“Thank you to everyone from Red Bull, Scuderia AlphaTauri, and Honda who made today possible. It was really fantastic and amazing! The morning programme was designed for me to build up the pace progressively and not push to the limit immediately. In the afternoon, I was able to push more when we started putting on new sets of tyres. Unfortunately, we had a car issue before the last push lap of the day that brought it to an early finish. We’re not exactly sure what it was yet, so we’ll continue investigating. I enjoyed the day, gained a huge amount of experience, and learnt a lot of things about the car, the track, and from the team. I know what I learnt today will help me a lot in my future racing.”

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