Abu Dhabi post-season test 2022: Which drivers will be in action?

Thomas Maher
Ferrari testing at the 2021 Post-season test in Abu Dhabi. Yas Marina, December 2021.

Ferrari testing at the 2021 Post-season test in Abu Dhabi. Yas Marina, December 2021.

Formula 1’s last track action of the year sees a one-day test carried out in Abu Dhabi following the grand prix, including a Young Driver Test.

Two days after the final grand prix of the year, held at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina, F1 stays on for a one-day test at the circuit.

The test is mainly for Pirelli tyre running, but the teams are also required to field a ‘Young Driver’ alongside their tyre-testing car.

Details of the planned driver line-ups are slowly but surely being solidified in the hours before the session gets underway, but there are quite a few confirmed plans already.

These include Fernando Alonso getting his first chance at the wheel of an Aston Martin, while Mercedes will field junior driver Frederik Vesti for their young driver obligation on the opening day.

Here is what we know so far…

Red Bull: Red Bull will field Liam Lawson as their Young Driver, while both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez will carry out their final driving duties of the year on the tyre testing programme.

Mercedes: Merc junior driver Frederik Vesti will take the wheel of the W13, fulfilling the team’s young driver requirement. Both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will be at the wheel of the other W13 to carry out the Pirelli tyre testing programme.

Ferrari: The Scuderia will run Robert Shwartzman, who took part in Friday’s FP1, in the young driver side while Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will split the duties for the Pirelli tyre test.

McLaren: The signing of Oscar Piastri ruffled plenty of feathers (not least within Alpine), but the team have now agreed an early release from his contract, which will allow the Australian to drive for McLaren in the post-season test, with team boss Andreas Seidl confirming this would be the case in Sao Paulo.

Piastri will carry out the Young Driver Test, while Lando Norris will drive the tyre-testing MCL36.

Aston Martin: Fernando Alonso takes over Sebastian Vettel’s AMR22 for the morning of the Abu Dhabi test (November 22) with Lance Stroll assuming the seat for the afternoon running. New junior signing Felipe Drugovich will carry out their junior driver obligations.

Alpine: Pierre Gasly will get his first run in for Alpine as he carries out the tyre-testing duties as part of his acclimatisation to his new team, having taken Fernando Alonso’s vacated seat.

Australian F2 racer Jack Doohan, who took part in FP1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, will carry out the Young Driver Test.

AlphaTauri: Nyck de Vries, their 2023 signing, has been confirmed as taking part in the test, with his participation being under the young driver obligation – Mercedes having kindly loaned their contracted man out to AlphaTauri ahead of his full-time arrival in 2023.

Yuki Tsunoda will be at the wheel of the tyre testing car.

Alfa Romeo: Alfa Romeo have confirmed Theo Pourchaire will carry out the team’s Young Driver Testing on Tuesday, while Valtteri Bottas will be on hand for the tyre test.

Williams: Williams’ plans are unconfirmed for now, but Logan Sargeant is expected to be carrying out the Young Driver Test. With Nicholas Latifi on his way out at the team, it’s safe to assume it’ll be Alex Albon on the tyre test.

Haas: Pietro Fittipaldi will drive for Haas as their Young Driver obligation, while Nico Hulkenberg makes his debut for the team for tyre testing and to get used to his new surroundings ahead of the 2023 season.

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