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Surprise team tops timesheets in Abu Dhabi post-season testing

Surprise team tops timesheets in Abu Dhabi post-season testing

F1 News

Surprise team tops timesheets in Abu Dhabi post-season testing

Surprise team tops timesheets in Abu Dhabi post-season testing

Alpine's Esteban Ocon was the fastest driver on the track during post-season testing at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Now an important part of the schedule, the young drivers and Pirelli tyre tests at the end of the season act as a way for teams to gain some last-minute data ahead of the next campaign, as well as an opening for rookies to jump behind the wheel.

While the majority of manufacturers and drivers focus on racking up as many laps as possible, it will still come as some surprise that Ocon topped the session, particularly given how slow the Alpine car has been in 2023.

There was more misery for Mercedes as George Russell's session was ended by a crash, while newly-crowned Formula 2 champion Theo Pourchaire made an appearance - albeit one disrupted by technical issues.

Esteban Ocon topped the timesheet in the end of season testing
George Russell crashed during the session after a car failure on his W14
Rookie Frederik Vesti was given an outing with Mercedes

Lowdown on the action

Behind Ocon, IndyCar driver Pato O'Ward managed to put in a time quick enough for second with his McLaren team.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez could only finish fourth despite completing 117 laps of the Yas Marina Circuit.

Other rookies given a chance included Ferrari's Robert Shwartzman, 2022 F2 champion Felipe Drugovich and Jack Doohan, all fresh from their outings during FP1 at the same track.

The session was originally delayed for 25 minutes due to the absence of a medical helicopter, and included two red flags after car failures for Russell and Ayumu Iwasa in the AlphaTauri.

READ MORE: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: How all 10 rookie drivers got on in FP1

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