Formula 1

De Vries, Vandoorne Enjoy Productive Test Day with Mercedes in Abu Dhabi

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Credit: LAT mages

Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne shared the driving duties for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team in the post-season test in Abu Dhabi, with the duo ending second and third fastest respectively behind Renault DP World F1 Team’s Fernando Alonso.

Both Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E drivers were called up for the test at the Yas Marina Circuit, with both being given a first chance to driver the championship winning W11.

For de Vries, it was a first ever chance to test a Formula 1 car, and the Dutchman completed one hundred and ten laps on a day he said was a ‘special’ one for him.

“Today was very special, making my Formula 1 debut,” said de Vries. “What an incredible car, it’s from a different planet really. You can brake so late and carry so much speed through the corners. It was a real pleasure to drive.

“I’m really pleased with the progression I made throughout the day and the work we completed. I was quite surprised with how quickly I felt comfortable in the car and the team was very supportive, doing everything they could to make me feel as comfortable as possible.

“A massive thanks to Mercedes for this very unique and special opportunity because it was a great day in the car.”

For Vandoorne, it was a first test in a Formula 1 car since he was let go by the McLaren F1 Team at the end of the 2018 season, and although his day was cut short, he still completed eighty-two laps and finished third fastest overall.

“I had a lot of fun out there today in the W11,” said Vandoorne.  “I managed to complete plenty of laps with both some short and longer runs.

“It was a pretty smooth day and I was quickest in the morning session as well. I want to say a massive thank you to the team for giving me this opportunity, because the chance to drive a Championship-winning F1 car doesn’t come around very often and is very unique. It was a real privilege to drive W11 and a really great day.

“I had to cut the afternoon a little short because I had to leave to the airport for a PR commitment, but nonetheless I’m really happy with the day we’ve had in the car and the opportunity to end the year driving W11.”

Stoffel Vandoorne ended Tuesday’s test with the third fastest time – Credit: LAT mages
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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