With the world championship drawing to a close last Sunday, there was just one day of testing to complete at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, with all 10 teams running two cars each.
The program was split into two parts, with one car reserved for young drivers to experience Formula 1, while regular racing drivers drove the other car in a tire test. As next year’s compounds will be the same as this year’s, the second part of the test was an opportunity to improve the car’s tire package. All the information obtained, thanks also to the additional sensors installed compared to a normal race weekend, will be shared by Pirelli.
A total of 11 young drivers took to the track, with Williams being the only team to field two of them. Italo-Argentine driver Franco Colapinto, fourth in Formula 3 this year, drove the car in the morning before handing over the car to England’s Zak O’Sullivan. Many of the young drivers who took part today also took part in last Friday’s FP1 – such as Ferrari’s Robert Shwartzman, Mercedes’ Frederik Vesti, newly crowned Formula 2 champion Theo Pourchaire with Alfa Romeo, Felipe Drugovich for Aston Martin, Jack Doohan and Alpine . , and Pato O’Ward for McLaren – with O’Sullivan.
Among the regular drivers on the track were George Russell (Mercedes), Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Oscar Piastri (McLaren), Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz ( Ferrari), Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo (AlphaTauri), Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo), as well as Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant (Williams). Haas did not field any of its drivers for the 2023 race but instead chose reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi (who cannot be classed as a rookie as he has already driven in Grands prix, on both occasions for Haas).
The fastest time of 1’24”393 was set by Esteban Ocon while Pato O’Ward was the fastest of the young drivers with a time of 1’24”662. Temperatures remained high, with temperatures between 25 and 44 degrees Celsius, and ambient temperatures between 24 and 34 degrees Celsius.
The regular drivers each had 10 sets of tires (one set of C1 and C2, three sets of C3 and C4, plus one set of C5) while the junior drivers had eight sets each (two sets of C3, four sets of C4, and two sets of C5).
A total of 2184 cycles were covered: 125 for C1 (6%), 138 for C2 (6%), 718 for C3 (33%), 942 for C4 (43%), and 261 for C5 (12%). That compares to the 2681 laps that were covered during last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, equivalent to 14158 kilometres.
Pirelli’s track season is not quite finished in Abu Dhabi: next weekend there will be a test at Magny-Cours in France with Mercedes to focus on the production of weather tires.