Alonso fastest as F1 2020 ends with 'young driver' test - The Race
Formula 1

Alonso fastest as F1 2020 ends with ‘young driver’ test

Dec 15 2020
By Edd Straw

Fernando Alonso topped the timesheets on the final day of Formula 1 action for 2020 in the young driver test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Alonso, whose participation in the test proved controversial after the FIA relaxed the regulations to permit some drivers with more than two grand prix starts to participate after all, completed 105 laps and set his fastest time of 1m36.366s during the final half-hour of running.

The Renault driver had also been on top during much of the morning session, but Mercedes’ Stoffel Vandoorne hit the front before the lunchbreak with a time of 1m37.206s before the lap times improved in the afternoon.

Vandoorne, having his first F1 outing since the end of his second full F1 season with McLaren in 2018 thanks to the rules on what drivers could participate being opened up, ended the day third with a best time of 1m36.840s.

That put him behind fellow Mercedes driver and Formula E team-mate Nyck de Vries, who was a quarter-of-a-second quicker on his first F1 test and 0.262s slower than Alonso.

Another driver who was originally unable to participate, Robert Kubica was fourth fastest for Alfa Romeo with a 1m37.446s lap having previously driven the car in pre-season testing and five FP1 sessions.

Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Abu Dhabi F1 test 2020

AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda had his first contemporary F1 car having driven a 2018 car at Imola in early November.

He ended up fifth with a time set towards the end of the day having suffered a spin during the morning’s running.

Dec 15 : Alonso fastest in controversial F1 test outing

Juri Vips was the faster of the two Red Bull drivers in sixth on his F1 test debut, with Sebastien Buemi 12th and just over half-a-second slower in the sister RB16 having backed it into the wall and suffered minor damage during the morning session.

Ferrari simulator driver Antonio Fuoco made a late improvement to end up seventh in one of the two Ferraris, with Formula 2 race winner Robert Shwartzman 11th in the other on his first frontline F1 test having previously driven out-of-date machinery.

Shwartzman completed more laps than anyone, racking up 129 over the course of the day and also set his best time late in the day.

Another Ferrari Academy driver, Callum Ilott, was eighth on his return to Alfa Romeo for the first time since crashing heavily during testing at Barcelona in May 2019.

Callum Ilott Alfa Romeo Abu Dhabi F1 test 2020

He was just ahead of Renault junior Guan Yu Zhou, who had a spin during the morning’s running but racked up 98 laps on his first test in a contemporary F1 car and finished a quarter of a second ahead of Williams reserve Jack Aitken, with his best time coming in the final 20 minutes of running.

F1 debutant Marino Sato was 13th for AlphaTauri ahead of Roy Nissany, whose Williams caused a red flag during the afternoon running when it stopped on track.

Haas ran just one car for 2021 race driver Mick Schumacher, who was 15th fastest having had his first run with the team during FP1 in the Abu Dhabi GP weekend.

He set his best time of 1m39.947s using the softest-spec C5 Pirellis towards the end of the day.

TEST TIMES

1 Fernando Alonso (Renault) 1m36.333s
2 Nyck de Vries (Mercedes) 1m36.595s
3 Stoffel Vandoorne (Mercedes) 1m36.840s
4 Robert Kubica (Alfa Romeo) 1m37.446s
5 Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) 1m37.557s
6 Juri Vips (Red Bull) 1m37.770s
7 Antonio Fuoco (Ferrari) 1m37.817s
8 Callum Ilott (Alfa Romeo) 1m37.826s
9 Guan Yu Zhou (Renault) 1m37.902s
10 Jack Aitken (Williams) 1m38.153s
11 Robert Shwartzman (Ferrari) 1m38.157s
12 Sebastien Buemi (Red Bull) 1m38.284s
13 Marino Sato (AlphaTauri) 1m38.485s
14 Roy Nissany (Williams) 1m39.900s
15 Mick Schumacher (Haas) 1m39.947s

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