Ferrari finish F1 2022 on top in Abu Dhabi test | Alonso, Piastri make debuts


By Matt Morlidge

Last Updated: 22/11/22 2:39pm

 Carlos Sainz led Ferrari to a one-two-three in the Abu Dhabi test  Carlos Sainz led Ferrari to a one-two-three in the Abu Dhabi test

Carlos Sainz led Ferrari to a one-two-three in the Abu Dhabi test

Ferrari finished the final track day of Formula 1 2022 on top as Carlos Sainz led a one-two-three in the Abu Dhabi post-season test, which saw a number of drivers – including Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri – debut for their new teams.

The one-day test – held two days after Yas Marina’s season-ending race – was largely a tyre test for Pirelli’s new 2023 compounds, while all 10 teams were also required to test young drivers in their second cars.

That led to a jam-packed timesheet, with 24 drivers in action over the day, and Ferrari even locked out the top three positions.

 Fernando Alonso drove an Aston Martin car without sponsors  Fernando Alonso drove an Aston Martin car without sponsors

Fernando Alonso drove an Aston Martin car without sponsors

Sainz set the pace in the afternoon with a 1:25.2, a time that was 1.4s down on Max Verstappen’s pole lap for the weekend, ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc, who drove the F1-75 in the opening session. Ferrari development driver Robert Shwartzman was third.

 Lewis Hamilton drove his Mercedes W13 car for the first time  Lewis Hamilton drove his Mercedes W13 car for the first time

Lewis Hamilton drove his Mercedes W13 car for the first time
Max Verstappen was back in the Red Bull after his second title-winning season Max Verstappen was back in the Red Bull after his second title-winning season

Max Verstappen was back in the Red Bull after his second title-winning season

Verstappen was also in action fresh off claiming his record-extending 15th win of his second title-winning campaign, finishing fifth in his dominant Red Bull, as was Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes W13 car he admitted over the weekend he can’t wait to see the back of.

Hamilton split the day with George Russell (23rd) and finished 17th, with Mercedes junior Frederik Vesti 22nd.

The final day of F1 2022, though, was mainly notable for the drivers making fresh starts with new teams.

 Oscar Piastri brought out red flags in the morning session after his McLaren stopped on track  Oscar Piastri brought out red flags in the morning session after his McLaren stopped on track

Oscar Piastri brought out red flags in the morning session after his McLaren stopped on track

Alonso was the headline act as he drove in a – sponsor-less because of his Alpine contract – Aston Martin, while Pierre Gasly also debuted for Alpine, Nico Hulkenberg for Haas and Piastri for McLaren.

Gasly was the fastest non-Ferrari driver of the day.

Piastri, meanwhile, who caused a summer stir with his infamous move from Alpine to McLaren, caused a red flag in the morning session after grinding to a halt in his McLaren.

More to follow.

Abu Dhabi post-season test: Final timesheet

Driver Team Time
1. Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:25.245
2. Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:25.383
3. Robert Shwartzman Ferrari (young driver) 1:25.400
4. Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:25.689
5. Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:25.845
6. Alex Albon Williams 1:25.969
7. Logan Sargeant Williams 1:26.063
8. Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri 1:26.111
9. Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:26.263
10. Liam Lawson Red Bull 1:26.281
11. Jack Doohan Alpine 1:26.281
12. Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:26.312
13. Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:26.333
14, Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:26.340
15. Felipe Drugovich Aston Martin 1:26.595
16. Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:26.709
17. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.750
18. Lando Norris McLaren 1:26.890
19. Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1:27.000
20. Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:27.123
21. Pietro Fittipaldi Haas 1:27.172
22. Frederick Vesti Mercedes 1:27.216
23 George Russell Mercedes 1:27.240
24. Theo Pourchaire Alfa Romeo 1:27.591

What’s next?

This is the last time the drivers will hit the track in 2022, although there is still the small matter of Verstappen being officially crowned at the FIA Awards gala this week.

F1 2023 will start in earnest with launch season – usually at the beginning of February – before pre-season testing takes place in Bahrain on February 23-25.

The campaign then officially begins the following weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix at the same Sakhir track on March 5.

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