Leclerc quicker than Vettel in Abu Dhabi test

Wednesday, 28 november 2018, 09:18 , by Matthew Scott

Charles Leclerc took the honours from Formula 1's post-season tyre test, clocking the fastest lap time across the two days, ultimately shaving four tenths of a second off 2019 Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel's best time, as well as completing 133 laps in the SF71H.

Leclerc ended Wednesday with a best time of 1:36.450, set on 2019 Pirelli tyres, as F1 concluded on-track matters for the year in Abu Dhabi.

After a strong rookie campaign with Sauber, Leclerc will graduate to the Scuderia next year alongside Vettel and has been tipped to make an impression on a title race that has been dominated by Lewis Hamilton in recent years.

As is always the case in testing, it is not known if Leclerc and Vettel ran their top laps with similar settings and fuel levels. Leclerc's best lap came on Pirelli's 'Compound 5' 2019 tyre - an evolution of this year's hypersoft, which Vettel used for his top lap on Tuesday.

The Monegasque was well clear at the top of the timesheets, Pierre Gasly was closest in his first Red Bull run for a year, with a top time of 1:37.916 from his 128 tours of Yas Marina.

Valtteri Bottas (143 laps, 1:38.448) was the only driver to complete two full days' of running.

Also in action for new teams for 2019 were Williams' George Russell (36 laps, 1:38.836) and Carlos Sainz in the McLaren (147 laps, 1:38.547).

Daniil Kvyat drove further than anyone as he returned to the Toro Rosso cockpit, his 155 laps representing almost three race distances of the Yas Marina Circuit.

Lance Stroll continued in the Force India as official confirmation of his 2019 switch remains in the air. The Canadian was third-fastest, albeit more than a second and a half down on Leclerc's best time, having put in 122 laps.

Robert Kubica (56 laps, 1:40.266) and Antonio Giovinazzi (125 laps, 1:40.435) were in action for Williams and Sauber respectively as they prepare to turn test drivers to racers in 2019, while Louis Deletraz (115 laps, 1:39.069) and Artem Markelov (129 laps, 1:38.590) were given chances to impress by Haas and Renault respectively.

Related news

Comments (58)

  • Left Flank
    The way Leclerc is going you know that Ferrari made the right move because even with a terrible second half of the year for the German, Kimi was nowhere Seb and the same can be said for the 4 years that they were team mates at Ferrari. That's 13 wins for Seb and 1 for Kimi!
  • Kevin Barlow-Houghton
    Vettel on 2018 tyres Leclerc testing the 2019 tyres. Read the full story on the official F1 page. Not click bait. But it will be closer next year! That’s for sure
  • Karl Davy
    we already know vettal doesnt perform well with a team mate thats younger and agruably better so i cant wait to see 2019 altho team orders will swing this !
  • Rodney Lees
    Ok liked Alonso and Hamilton's donuts after the race.....Vettel was just trying to drive straight
  • Sharath Nathan
    Yeah except that it's post season testing so no one cares and it doesn't show anything
  • Jason Gale
    Lol yes ... I’ll wait until qualifying in Melbourne to believe anything
  • Wayne Smith
    So, he might finish closer behind Lewis Hamilton in a race next year? :D :D :D
  • Seán McGlone
    He was on a different tyre to Vettel though so you can’t really compare
  • Paul Nsereko
    Someone get Ocon a sit. A super talent young driver like him should be driving next year.
  • Charlene Albert
    Christophe je dois te donner le portrait de Leclerc
  • Anjistho Basu
    Different tyres, 2nd day. But sure, VeTtAl SuCkZ!!!
  • Ben Sattler
    Jesse I got a feeling 2019 will be a ripper of a year
  • Piotr Feder
    We all want a first day at work like that.. I'm a fan.
  • Angel G. Ledesma
    Can't wait to see $troll get utterly defeated by Robert
  • Tyler Saulay
    Only testing. Still very excited for next season.
  • Ruy Scalamandré
    Pedro Scalamandre the stars are aligning...
  • Sebastian Saxinger
    Stephan Navisotschnigg weil Vettel mies ist
  • Farrukh Zaidi
    Yeah because testing times are the real deal.
  • Jody Harrison
    This doesn't mean anything....
  • Scott Kennedy
    Most likely running different programs

Write a comment