Thursday, March 4, 2021

Fernando Alonso tops Abu Dhabi F1 test for Renault

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The Spaniard, who is returning to F1 next season, had caused some controversy by being allowed to run at the test in spite of his vast experience.

Both he and Renault were eager to get the day’s running under their belt though, as it was the only opportunity the double world champion had to run the 2020 car outside of a filming day he did at Barcelona earlier in the year.

During a qualifying simulation run towards the end of the day, Alonso put in a lap of 1m36.333 seconds – which was faster than both Renault duo Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo produced in qualifying last weekend.

Mercedes duo Nyck de Vries and Stoffel Vandoorne ended up second and third fastest for Mercedes, with Alfa Romeo’s Robert Kubica fourth overall.

F2 rookie of the year Yuki Tsunoda, who is tipped to land an F1 seat at AlphaTauri next season as teammate to Pierre Gasly, completed 122 laps as he got up to speed in the team’s current car and ended up fifth on the timesheets.

Red Bull youngster Juri Vips was sixth quickest, while his teammate Sebastian Buemi lost valuable running time after a crash early on.

The Swiss driver put his RB16 backwards into the barrier, damaging the rear wing and other components. He eventually ended up 12th overall.

F2 race winner Callum Ilott completed a solid day for Alfa Romeo to end up eighth quickest, just behind Ferrari development driver Antonio Fuoco.

The other Ferrari was being driven by Robert Shwartzman, who was getting his first run in a contemporary F1 car.

Mick Schumacher, who ran in Friday free practice in Abu Dhabi for Haas, completed another day of running for the team ahead of his F1 debut in 2021.

The German ended up slowest overall but completed more than 125 laps.

The Abu Dhabi young driver test was the final day of 2020 F1 action for the year, with cars now not allowed to run until pre-season testing begins next March in Barcelona.

PosDriverTeamTimeGapLaps
1Fernando AlonsoRenault1m36.333s 104
2Nyck de VriesMercedes1m36.595s+0.262s110
3Stoffel VandoorneMercedes1m36.840s+0.507s82
4Robert KubicaAlfa Romeo1m37.446s+1.113s89
5Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri1m37.557s+1.224s122
6Juri VipsRed Bull1m37.770s+1.437s100
7Antonio FuocoFerrari1m37.817s+1.484s123
8Callum IlottAlfa Romeo1m37.826s+1.493s93
9Guanyu ZhouRenault1m37.902s+1.569s98
10Jack AitkenWilliams1m38.153s+1.820s78
11Robert ShwartzmanFerrari1m38.157s+1.824s129
12Sebastien BuemiRed Bull1m38.284s+1.951s76
13Marino SatoAlphaTauri1m38.495s+2.162s127
14Roy NissanyWilliams1m39.800s+3.467s75
15Mick SchumacherHaas1m39.947s+3.614s125

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