Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, Yas Marina, 2021

F1 teams begin post-season test in Abu Dhabi

2021 F1 season

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Two days after the chequered flag fell on this year’s world championship, teams resumed their preparations for the 2022 Formula 1 season at the Yas Marina circuit.

All 10 teams have at least one car running. Each of them is conducting a final test using its 2021 cars running on this year’s 13-inch wheels for a rookie driver.

In addition nine of the teams are also running modified cars in order to test the 18-inch tyres which will be used next year. The only team not participating in this test is Williams, which did not produce one of the ‘mule cars’ necessary for the test due to the financial difficulties it encountered prior to its sale last year.

Several drivers are having their first test of F1 machinery. IndyCar race-winner Pato O’Ward is at the wheel of the McLaren, having been offered a test as a reward for his breakthrough victory for their team in the series at Texas Motor Speedway in May. Williams junior driver Logan Sargeant, who will graduate from Formula 3 to Formula 2 next year, is also driving.

The only rookie in the field for the 2022 season, Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou, is testing for the team as a junior driver today and will continue tomorrow in the car on 18-inch wheels. In the meantime the latter car is being driven by Valtteri Bottas, in his first outing for Alfa Romeo, though he remains contracted to Mercedes until the end of the year.

Following his triumph last weekend, Max Verstappen is back at the wheel of his Red Bull. His world championship rival Lewis Hamilton, whose knighthood ceremony will take place in Britain tomorrow, is not participating in the test, leaving new team mate George Russell to do both days’ running with the 18-inch tyres.

The only other driver who will be on the grid next year who is not participating in this week’s test is Nikita Mazepin, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday and is therefore required to quarantine himself.

Expected driver schedule

TeamTuesday AM (young driver)Tuesday PM (young driver)Tueday AM (18-inch)Tuesday PM (18-inch)Wednesday AM (18-inch)Wednesday PM (18-inch)
Red BullJuri VipsMax VerstappenSergio Perez
MercedesNyck de VriesGeorge Russell
FerrariAntonio FuocoRobert ShwartzmanCharles LeclercAntonio FuocoCarlos Sainz Jnr
McLarenPato O’WardDaniel RicciardoLando Norris
AlpineOscar PiastriEsteban OconFernando Alonso
AlphaTauriLiam LawsonYuki TsunodaPierre Gasly
Aston MartinNick YellolyLance StrollSebastian Vettel
WilliamsLogan SargeantNot participating
Alfa RomeoGuanyu ZhouValtteri BottasGuanyu Zhou
HaasRobert ShwartzmanTBCMick SchumacherPietro Fittipaldi

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Pictures: Abu Dhabi post-season test

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 28 comments on “F1 teams begin post-season test in Abu Dhabi”

    1. That Yuri Vips looks like he just won championship

      1. He’s also wearing Max’ cap.

    2. The tests will be on TV somewhere?

      1. @Mathias No AFAIA.

      2. only if FIA make up some new rules during the session, to make testing more exciting for TV.

    3. Let’s all spare some thoughts for Valtteri, who, after years of driving the constructor’s championship winning car got absolutely hammered after the race (and rightly so) and now, as part of the hangover I guess, has to find out how much worse than the Mercedes that Alfa Romeo is.

      Also: two Dutch world champions on track today. A unique moment.

      1. Indeed! Like!

    4. Constantijn Blondel
      14th December 2021, 8:02

      For a second I (mis-)read “begin post-season protest” :)

    5. Hehe, the Aston Martin ‘young driver’ is 31 years old. I guess that’s nothing though compared to Alonso last year.

      1. @t1redmonkey Maybe we also need an “old drivers’ test” for people who have not completed in F1 for the requisite two years but are also 30+. Sky alone could have filled the roster with former drivers who would fit the criteria in their broadcasting team this weekend. Let’s see how Damon Hill handles this year’s Williams!

    6. Anyone else though they were going to run the #1 on Max’s car ??

      1. Yes, I also thought about it. But it’s premature due to the appeal I guess. And he’ll have at least 23 races with #1. I like the fact that we’ll be seeing #1 in F1 again.

      2. Nothing to do with the appeal. He’s not the champion unless the rules have been changed recently. He has to wait til Thursday.

        1. FIA Awards Ceremony

          1. this ^,
            until Verstappens is crowned Champion, Hamilton is still the holder of the title. Plus this is called “post season test” so it is somewhat related to this season, where the champion was Hamilton

    7. In the midst of all the protest and everything, Bottas has been completely ignored. Glad to see his name here. :)

      1. Last I saw of him online was being carried around shoulder high at the Merc after party, out of his head and singing karaoke. As was Toto whilst crowd surfing. So I don’t think Merc have gone dark, just all nursing hangovers. Good of Merc to release him early to do the test.

        1. Mercedes have since been contacting people on twitter in an attempt to remove these videos

    8. Too soon to say anything else about Zhou, but his helmet’s great!

    9. I can already foresee Russell becoming a nightmare team mate for Hamilton, the two won’t go much long together I guess, 1 or 2 seasons is my forecast

      1. Considering Lewis has signed for 22 and 23 that would be pretty shrewd by you! LOL.

    10. Sounds similar to the pre-hybrid predictions: Lewis won’t manage a fuel saving formula, doesn’t drive intelligently etc. Obviously, age will catch up with him but for anyone that watched the latter part of this season to write him off even against a talent like George is rather brave. We’ll see.

      1. This is a response to @alfa145 but it seems there’s a dodgy director directing my device or the site.

        1. Probably Masi

      2. I never implied that @Emma, you said it first. I only said I foresee Russell being a nightmare team mate, not that he would beat Hamilton any soon. A difficoult team mate would not give road as easily, or such things. The relationship will plummet as soon as halfway into the season, if the car is competitive enough for the championship, even if Hamilton is consistently ahead, which I broadly expect him to be, although by a small margin

      3. I never implied that @Emma, neither did I ever produce such forecasts in the past. I only said I foresee Russell being a nightmare team mate, not that he would beat Hamilton any soon. A difficoult team mate would not give road as easily for example, or such things. The relationship will plummet as soon as halfway into the season, if the car is competitive enough for the championship, even if Hamilton is consistently ahead, which I broadly expect him to be, although by a small margin

        1. Fair enough @alfa145. Lets wait and see – it is a fascinating pairing for sure.

    Comments are closed.