F1 live: How the final post-season test in Abu Dhabi unfolded as Russell crashed out

Editor
F1 testing is being held in Abu Dhabi for the final day of action in 2023.

One final day of F1 action in 2023 as a Young Driver and Pirelli tyre test is underway in Abu Dhabi.

The F1 2023 season may be over but the on-track action isn’t! We’ve stuck around in Abu Dhabi to bring you all the latest from the final post-season test of the year.

The day saw two different tests take place at the same time. The potential next generation of F1 stars spent some precious time behind the wheel in the Young Drivers’ Test and there were a few familiar faces hanging around to do some Pirelli tyre testing before shutting down properly for the off-season.

Our very own Thomas Maher was on the ground for us at the Yas Marina circuit, and this is how the day unfolded in all of its glory.

F1 live: 2023 post-season Abu Dhabi test times

YD = Young Drivers’ Test
P = Pirelli testing

1. Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:24.393 105 Laps P

2. Pato O’Ward McLaren 1:24.662 103 Laps YD

3. Frederik Vesti Mercedes 1:24.679 106 Laps YD

4. Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:24.715 117 Laps P

5. Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:24.799 69 Laps P

6. Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:24.827 36 Laps P

7. Jack Doohan Alpine 1:25.038 107 Laps YD

8. Robert Shwartzman Ferrari 1:25.050 123 Laps YD

9. Logan Sargeant Williams 1:25.263 56 Laps P

10. Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:25.371 56 Laps P

11. Theo Pourchaire Alfa Romeo 1:25.424 96 Laps YD

12. Felipe Drugovich Aston Martin 1:25.554 123 Laps YD

13. Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:25.570 58 Laps P

14. Jake Dennis Red Bull 1:25.666 124 Laps YD

15. Ayumu Iwasa AlphaTauri 1:26.206 96 Laps YD

16. Oliver Bearman Haas 1:26.928 110 Laps YD

17. Zak O’Sullivan Williams 1:25.842 50 Laps YD

18. Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:25.930 123 Laps P

19. Pietro Fittipaldi Haas 1:27.368 118 Laps P

20. George Russell Mercedes 1:26.283 58 Laps P

21. Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:26.681 50 Laps P

22. Franco Colapinto Williams 1:26.832 65 Laps YD

23. Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri 1:26.965 55 Laps P

24. Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:28.387 106 Laps P

25. Alex Albon Williams 1:27.824 51 Laps P

F1 live: 2023 post-season Abu Dhabi test updates

All times are local [Abu Dhabi time is GMT+4)
Session times: Morning session – 9am-1pm, Afternoon session 2pm-6pm

1800: And that’s a wrap! A big thank you for following over live coverage, not just today, but the entire F1 2023 season. We will have a full report of the day’s action up on site very soon and all the latest reaction.

1750: 

https://x.com/thomasmaheronf1/status/1729498987592343577?s=20

1740: Into the final 20 minutes before the F1 2023 season is well and truly done and dusted. Charles Leclerc is up to 60 laps and counting for the day, Shwartzman up to 114.

1726:

1724: RED FLAG. Ayumu Iwasa has stopped on track at Turn 16.

1718: Times are tumbling so quickly that it’s actually quite difficult to keep up now!

Jack Doohan has climbed into fifth for Alpine, displacing Sargeant and Pourchaire, while Iwasa has moved into the top 10 in what’s been a solid day for the AlphaTauri junior.

37 minutes to go, and it’s Ocon ahead of O’Ward and Perez.

1712: It’s all go now, with O’Ward moving into second place as Ocon also lowers his own benchmark at the top.

So it’s Ocon three-tenths clear of O’Ward, with Perez back down to third ahead of Sainz and Pourchaire.

Logan Sargeant has vaulted up from last into sixth in the last couple of minutes too, with Tsunoda in seventh ahead of Dennis and Iwasa.

1700: The cooling air means lower track temperatures and, as a result, we’re seeing a lot of improvements heading into the final hour.

Esteban Ocon has taken over at the top to eclipse Sainz’s morning time, with the Alpine driver popping in a 1:24.393 and clearing 100 laps on the board.

Perez, too, has climbed up past Sainz as he’s done a time just 0.022 slower than Ocon. He’s moved into second.

Theo Pourchaire has vaulted up to fourth in what’s been a very productive afternoon for the Alfa Romeo driver.

1637: Just been out for a walk up and down the pitlane as the sun starts to set. A pleasant, warm evening, and there’s very much an atmosphere of ‘school’s out’ looming with just 90 minutes left in the day.

Esteban Ocon has climbed up to third since we last spoke. Tsunoda has improved on his time to move into fourth again, meaning it’s O’Sullivan as the leading Young Driver as he’s in fifth for Williams.

1600: Some big movers in the last few minutes, as Yuki Tsunoda has made his presence felt by climbing up to fourth place to displace O’Sullivan down to fifth.

Fellow Japanese driver Ayumu Iwasa has also moved his AlphaTauri up to P13 with a 1:26.753.

In terms of mileage, just one driver has moved into the triple-figure lap count: Pietro Fittipaldi putting in the hard yards with Haas today as he’s up to a mammoth 110 laps!

1550: Fernando Alonso is on track! The Aston Martin driver has peeled out and got stuck straight in, and is already moving up the order – he’s up to P17 with a 1:26.952.

Just over two hours remaining in the day now.

At the front, the top three remains the same, but Zak O’Sullivan has had a great couple of minutes as he logged a 1:26.747 to move into P4 overall.

1522: Yuki Tsunoda has finally emerged from the pits, with two and a half hours to go. The Japanese driver has completed two laps so far, but just install laps – no time yet.

Fernando Alonso is the only driver still yet to appear today.

No changes at the top of the leaderboard, while Jake Dennis has resumed the track following his little spin 20 minutes ago.

1520:

Mercedes reveal cause of George Russell crash after abrupt testing end

1500: George Russell’s day may be over already. Mercedes say his incident at Turn 6 during the ‘lunch break’ was caused by a component failure, and an investigation is being carried out.

Separately, Jake Dennis spun and continued at Turn 12.

1435:

Zak O’Sullivan has been out for an installation lap, and then straight back in. Same on the other side of the Williams garage, with Logan Sargeant completing two laps.

Charles Leclerc has also emerged, so we’re only waiting on Tsunoda and Alonso to complete our 25 drivers for the day!

1435:

1424: Still pretty quiet on track, with plenty of work being done on the cars in the pitlane. Four cars out on track, and no sign of any of our afternoon drivers heading out just yet.

Passed by Charles Leclerc heading back into Ferrari hospitality too so doesn’t look to be urgently getting ready.

1414:

1350: While the session might be green, it appears most are still opting to take that lunch break. Piastri is on track, as are Stroll, Fittipaldi, Pourchaire, and Zhou, but the other 20 drivers are sitting in the pits.

1339: Scoffed down a quick lunch, because we’re already back in action. The planned one hour break doesn’t exist anymore, because a decision has been made to make up for some of the lost time from this morning.

So we’re back to it!

1320: As mentioned, there are a few driver changes coming up for the afternoon session when it gets back underway in about 40 minutes’ time.

Alex Albon’s time in the Williams FW45 is done, as he hands over to the limbo-bound Logan Sargeant as the American hopes to be kept on for next year.

Fernando Alonso takes over from Lance Stroll in the Aston Martin to wrap up his year, Charles Leclerc hops into the Ferrari SF-23 in place of Charles Leclerc, while Yuki Tsunoda replaces Daniel Ricciardo in the AlphaTauri.

There’s also a Young Driver change, with Zak O’Sullivan hopping into the Williams in place of Franco Colapinto.

1315: Check out our session report from this morning’s track action!

Abu Dhabi testing: Carlos Sainz blitzes rivals in his final SF-23 run

1300: That’s the morning session complete, and the cars are starting to pull into the pits. It’s not an official lunch hour so they don’t all need to immediately slow down and stop if they don’t want to.

Although the issue has been forced slightly by George Russell stopping on track at Turn 6. His car is brought back to the pits quickly, with the session resuming.

But now’s the chance to get some rest and some food before the afternoon session gets underway. There are a few driver changes as well, which we’ll address shortly. Full results from the morning on the way!

1245:

Just 12 laps on the board this morning for new F2 Champion Theo Pourchaire. The French driver has had a technical issue on his car and the team are working to rectify it to get him back out on track as soon as possible.

1209:

1200: Into the final hour of the morning session, and it’s some regular race drivers at the top as they run the Pirelli tyre test – Carlos Sainz ahead of Sergio Perez and Oscar Piastri.

Felipe Drugovich is fourth, fastest of the young drivers, with Robert Shwartzman in fifth for Ferrari and Jake Dennis sixth in the Red Bull.

1142: Less than 90 minutes to go until the unofficial lunch break hour, and it’s been a pretty straightforward morning so far.

No reliability issues or breakdowns to report, and all 20 drivers scheduled to run in the AM session are all into double digits lappery.

The session was initially delayed by 25 minutes due to awaiting the Medical Helicopter, with a further 24 minutes delay at 10am due to a water leak on track underneath the W Hotel bridge. However, these won’t affect the scheduled running time.

1140:

1135:

1110: After these efforts on the pitwall, I’m going to be away from desk for a short while to get some pics from trackside. Back soon!

1100: Two hours down, and it’s Carlos Sainz now at the front ahead of Sergio Perez and Oscar Piastri.

Fastest of the young drivers is Felipe Drugovich in fourth, ahead of Robert Shwartzman.

In terms of mileage, McLaren’s O’Ward is on 29 laps, half a GP distance already, with William’s Colapinto on 28 laps.

1025: Engines firing back up, and we’re green again here in Abu Dhabi. Message simply reads ‘Track surface slippery’. Should dry out pretty quickly though, it’s swelteringly hot outside already…

1024:

1015: We have a restart time! Green flag at 10:25, so 10 minutes from now.

1014:

1008:

1006:

1001: RED FLAG. It’s due to a water leak on track at Turns 13/14.

0959: End of the ‘first hour’, but a little bit of admin to the start of proceedings. The delay to the start initially resulted in the lost time being added on for the end of the day’s running, meaning chequered flag about 6:25pm local time, minus the hour for the unofficial lunch break.

However, the FIA has confirmed that, in accordance with Article 10.6 (a) of the Sporting Regulations, testing will still end at 1800 local time – “TCC (testing of current cars) may only take place between 9:00 and 18:00”.

After an hour, it’s Felipe Drugovich who has the quickest time – half a tenth clear of Sergio Perez.

0941:

0934: Whatever the case, the session is now underway as of eight minutes ago, and all the drivers have headed out for at least one installation lap.

0930: The session has finally got underway, almost 30 minutes late. The reason for the delay was that the Medical Helicopter hadn’t actually arrived at the track yet…

0908: Timing screens have updated now to tell us that the first session will start at 0915.

0900: And we have a strange delay to kick off proceedings – track won’t open until 0910 local time. No reason has been given.

0847:  We’re still waiting for some teams to confirm who’ll be in the car this morning.

0841:  Pirelli have confirmed the tyres that will be available to the teams over the course of the two days with the Young Drivers having fewer options for the regular race drivers.

0835: As promised, here is how each team are planning on tackling the two tests going on today:

Alfa Romeo – Theo Pourchaire (Young Driver) / Zhou Guanyu (Tyre test)
AlphaTauri – Ayumu Iwasa (Young Driver) / Daniel Ricciardo AM/Yuki Tsunoda PM (Tyre test)
Alpine – Jack Doohan (Young Driver) / Esteban Ocon (Tyre test)
Aston Martin – Felipe Drugovich (Young Driver) / Lance Stroll /Fernando Alonso (Tyre test)
Ferrari – Robert Schwartzman (Young Driver) / Carlos Sainz AM/Charles Leclerc PM (Tyre test)
Haas – Oliver Bearman ( Young Driver) / Pietro Fittipaldi (Tyre test)
McLaren – Pato O’Ward (Young Driver) / Oscar Piastri (Tyre test)
Mercedes – Frederik Vesti (Young Driver) / George Russell (Tyre test)
Red Bull – Jack Dennis (Young Driver) / Sergio Perez (Tyre test)
Williams – Franco Colapinto/Zak O’Sullivan (Young Driver Test) / Alex Albon/Logan Sargeant (Tyre test)

0830: Good morning from Abu Dhabi! You haven’t got rid of us just yet. The final day of on-track F1 action gets underway in 30 minutes’ time. We will share the driver schedules with you shortly.