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Ferrari impressive in 2022 post-season testing


Ferrari filled the top three places on the timing screens in Formula One’s post-season test on Tuesday.

Picture: EPA, Stephanie Lecocq

Abu Dhabi – Ferrari filled the top three places on the timing screens in Formula One’s post-season test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday as the sport looked to the future with grand prix veterans and newcomers alike starting work with new employers.

Carlos Sainz was quickest for Ferrari ahead of team mate Charles Leclerc, with both race regulars taking turns in the one F1-75 car and focusing on Pirelli’s 2023 tyres.

Israeli test driver Robert Shwartzman was third fastest in the other Ferrari and did 116 laps, the equivalent of two grand prix distances.

Spain’s double world champion Fernando Alonso, 41, made his track debut with Aston Martin after leaving Renault-owned Alpine while 35-year-old Nico Hulkenberg began his comeback with U.S.-owned Haas.

“Today was about learning the tyres for 2023, learning their characteristics and with these test days you have a bit more time to try stuff,” said Hulkenberg, whose last full season was in 2019 with Renault.

“I coped better than expected to be honest, so that’s good,” he added of his fitness. “There’s now three months of hard-core preparation to get ready, I have a plan and I know what I have to do.”

Australian rookie Oscar Piastri tested for McLaren alongside 2023 team mate Lando Norris while Frenchman Pierre Gasly settled in at Alpine following his move from Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri, who welcomed Dutch driver Nyck de Vries in his place.

“We did a lot of laps and experimented a lot which is exactly what today is all about. I’ve got a good idea where to improve for next year,” said Piastri.

“I really enjoyed it, it’s nice to be back out on track finally and experience the 2022 cars.”

Gasly was fourth fastest, with Red Bull’s double world champion Max Verstappen fifth after taking over the car from team mate Sergio Perez.

De Vries did the most distance, completing 152 laps of Yas Marina.

Australian youngster Jack Doohan, son of motorcycle great Mick, also tested for Alpine while New Zealander Liam Lawson had a full day in the double title-winning Red Bull RB18.


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