Bottas tops first day in Abu Dhabi

By on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Williams Racing

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas topped the first day of post-season testing at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Bottas, who finished on the podium in last weekend’s race, set a time of 1:43.396 in the Williams FW36, almost half a second quicker than compatriot Kimi Raikkonen.

Nico Rosberg returned to his Mercedes W05 Hybrid after missing out on the 2014 title and set the third quickest time. He was also the most productive runner, having conducted 114 laps.

Newly crowned GP2 Champion Jolyon Palmer had a disrupted day of testing with Force India.

Palmer, driving a Formula 1 car for the first time, stopped on track during the first part of the day with an engine issue. He returned to the circuit but stopped again, although later managed to set some laps during the final hour, eventually ending in fourth place after completing 37 laps.

Carlos Sainz Jr was fifth quickest as he tested the Red Bull RB10 – his prize for clinching this year’s Formula Renault 3.5 title. The Spaniard remains in contention for the vacant Toro Rosso seat.

Caterham entered the test in spite of their off-track problems and Will Stevens ended the day in sixth place having racked up 101 laps in the CT05.

Lotus test driver Charles Pic was seventh; the Frenchman will hand over duties to F3 champion Esteban Ocon and GP3 champion Alex Lynn on Wednesday.

Former Caterham driver Marcus Ericsson made the switch to Sauber and completed a day of running for his new team, finishing eighth after completing 95 laps.

Max Verstappen returned to the cockpit of the Toro Rosso STR9 but he had an auspicious start as he hit the barriers on the exit of Turn 19 after a suspension failure. Toro Rosso was able to repair his car and he returned to the track.

GP2 runner-up Stoffel Vandoorne publicly debuted the Honda-powered McLaren MP4-29H/1X1 during the closing stages of running after electrical problems prevented the car from hitting the track during the morning session.

McLaren endured a few to-be-expected gremlins - including causing one of the red flags - and Vandoorne completed only one full lap.

Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel spent his first day with Ferrari ahead of his move to the team for 2015 but Red Bull prohibited him from driving the car and he spent the day conversing with his new engineers and watching the action.


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