Bottas tops day one in Abu Dhabi test


Valtteri Bottas ended the opening day of the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix test at the Yas Marina Circuit on top for Williams Martini Racing, but McLaren were restricted to just three laps on their first official day on track with their new Honda power unit.

Bottas completed eighty laps on Tuesday and set a best lap time of 1m43.396s, to beat Kimi Raikkonen of the Scuderia Ferrari team by 0.492s, while Nico Rosberg was third for Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS, with the German back on track mere days after seeing his World Championship winning dreams disappear.

GP2 Series champion Jolyon Palmer has his first taste of F1 machinery when he ran thirty-seven laps for the Sahara Force India team, although his running was affected by engine problems that saw him miss a big chunk of track time.

Palmer’s late return to the track and time improvement meant he jumped ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr, with the Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion running with the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team in Abu Dhabi.

Will Stevens took sixth for the Caterham F1 Team, ahead of Charles Pic of the Lotus F1 Team, while Marcus Ericsson was eighth on his first day as a Sauber F1 Team driver ahead of his planned full-season with them in 2015.

Max Verstappen was ninth for Scuderia Toro Rosso despite causing two of the three red flag periods during the day. He crashed early in the day when his front suspension failed on his car, and then stopped with just minutes remaining of the days running with an apparent engine failure.

McLaren were tenth and last without setting a time, after electrical issues restricted Stoffel Vandoorne to just three laps. The MP4-29H/1X1 was initially delayed until the afternoon, but the Belgian first grinded to a halt in the pit lane, before causing a red flag on its second run when it broke down again. It came out for a third installation lap but was not seen again all day, and McLaren will be hopeful day two on Wednesday is far more productive for the team.

Abu Dhabi Post-Season Test Day 1 Times

POS DRIVER NAT TEAM TIME
1 Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes 1:43.396
2 Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari 1:43.888
3 Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes 1:44.512
4 Jolyon Palmer GBR Force India-Mercedes 1:44.516
5 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Red Bull-Renault 1:45.339
6 Will Stevens GBR Caterham-Renault 1:45.436
7 Charles Pic FRA Lotus-Renault 1:46.167
8 Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari 1:46.487
9 Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso-Renault 1:47.194
10 Stoffel Vandoorne BEL McLaren-Honda No Time