Bottas quickest in Abu Dhabi test, Ocon debuts

Mark Scott
Esteban Ocon PA

Esteban Ocon says cooling issue caused Styria DNF.

Valtteri Bottas has ended the first day of post-season testing top of the timesheet, whilst Esteban Ocon made his long-awaited debut for Renault.

All 10 teams are taking part in the traditional post-season test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi with a focus on testing Pirelli tyres for the 2020 campaign. Teams could also use the 2019 tyres to give both them and Pirelli a more accurate reference point.

Bottas pumped in a 1:37.124 as part of a mammoth 138-lap stint to sit comfortably top of the standings, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, also racking up 100+ laps, eight tenths behind in second place.

Rounding off the top three was Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, who took over from Sean Gelael in the afternoon session.

Sergio Perez, Romain Grosjean, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen followed next in the standings and all four drivers joined the century club. The former was involved in a small incident with Vettel where slight contact was made between the duo.

Esteban Ocon placed P8 on debut for his new team Renault,  with just 77 laps on the board. The Frenchman will return to the car on Wednesday for more precious track time ahead of returning to the grid in 2020.

George Russell and Kimi Raikkonen completed the top 10, with the latter prevented from reaching a century of laps due to a mechanical issue occurring late into the afternoon session.

Roy Nissany took it nice and slow on his first Williams outing, finishing some three seconds behind Gelael.

Nissany will return to the FW42 on Wednesday morning before handing over to Nicholas Latifi.

Day two will also see George Russell test for Mercedes, Charles Leclerc in for Vettel at Ferrari and Carlos Sainz Jr have one last blast in his McLaren.

Abu Dhabi testing, day 1 timesheet:

1. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:37.124 138 laps C4 2019
2. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:37.991 136 laps C5 2020
3. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:38.183 72 laps C5 2020
4. Sergio Perez Racing Point 1:38.434 120 laps C5 2020
5. Romain Grosjean Haas 1:39.536 146 laps C5 2020
6. Lando Norris McLaren 1:39.741 104 laps C5 2020
7. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:39.926 153 laps C3 2020
8. Esteban Ocon Renault 1:39.962 77 laps C4 2020
9. George Russell Williams 1:40.368 87 laps C5 2020
10. Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1:40.903 93 laps C4 2019
11. Sean Gelael Toro Rosso 1:41.640 67 laps C4 2020
12. Roy Nissany Williams 1:44.760 41 laps C3 2020

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