YAS ISLAND, Abu Dhabi – Formula One’s annual post-season test at the Yas Island Circuit began on Tuesday with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas pacing a busy day of on-track action.
Bottas spent most of the day testing tire compounds and set the fastest lap of the day on his 129th lap – 1:37.124. His fast lap left him a little more than .8 seconds ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel at the conclusion of the day.
“It’s been a very productive day today, we did more than 750 kilometers,” said Bottas. “We’ve been learning about the 2020 tires and how they compare to this year’s tires. We gathered a lot of data for the team to analyze over the coming weeks. I still have a few more team commitments before I eventually leave for the holidays and I’ll head off for the break with a positive mindset after a strong season and a good last day of testing with this year’s car.”
Vettel turned 136 laps and was involved in the only incident of the day, which saw the Ferrari driver make slight contact with the Racing Point of Sergio Perez in turn 11. The tap resulted in Vettel innocently spinning, though Vettel was easily able to continue.
Daniil Kvyat was third fastest after turning 72 laps, while Perez and Haas’ Romain Grosjean were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Esteban Ocon made his return to Formula One as a full-time driver for Renault, turning 77 laps and finishing the day eighth fastest.