Max Verstappen will be back behind the wheel of a Red Bull at Yas Marina less than 48 hours after his dramatic World Championship triumph.
The Dutchman, who snatched Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victory and the Drivers’ title from Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the season, is taking part on Day 1 of the post-season test.
The test completes the trialling of next year’s new 18-inch Pirelli tyres as part of Formula 1’s new regulations, a process that has been ongoing throughout this year.
Teams will be running ‘mule’ cars able to accommodate the 18-inch tyres and most of this year’s Formula 1 drivers are staying in Abu Dhabi to take part.
Among the exceptions are Lewis Hamilton, who is due to receive his knighthood from The Queen at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, and exiting Alfa Romeo duo Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi.
With Valtteri Bottas moving on to experience the Alfa Romeo for the first time in test, it has been left to his replacement, George Russell, to do all the Mercedes testing over the two days.
Guanyu Zhou, who will be Bottas’ team-mate in 2022, will also participate on Wednesday.
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) December 13, 2021
Although they are not listed by Pirelli, Williams are expected to take part in the test having confirmed their new academy driver, Logan Sergeant, will run.
Also, McLaren are giving a test to IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward on Tuesday along with Daniel Ricciardo, before Lando Norris takes over for Wednesday’s action.
Ferrari, meanwhile, will have three drivers in their SF21 hybrid car on Tuesday with Charles Leclerc joined by Robert Shwartzman and Antonio Fuoco from their academy.
Shwartzman finished the Formula 2 Championship season strongly with 12 consecutive top-six finishes to end up second in the standings behind Oscar Piastri.
Fuoco is a Ferrari simulator driver who used to compete in Formula 2 and this year was among the fifth-placed team in the GTE Am category of the World Endurance Championship.
Driver schedule for post-season test
Mercedes – George Russell
Red Bull – Max Verstappen
Ferrari – Charles Leclerc, Antonio Fuoco, Robert Shwartzman
McLaren – Daniel Ricciardo, Pato O’Ward
Alpine – Esteban Ocon
AlphaTauri – Yuki Tsunoda
Aston Martin – Lance Stroll, Nick Yelloly
Williams – Logan Sergeant
Alfa Romeo – Valtteri Bottas
Haas – Mick Schumacher