Find out more about our subscriptions
You are on the classic version of Autosport. Visit to see our new site.

Abu Dhabi F1 test: Mercedes' Bottas fastest, Ocon makes Renault bow

Valtteri Bottas Mercedes Abu Dhabi F1 tyre test 2019

Esteban Ocon made his debut appearance as a Renault Formula 1 race driver on the opening day of the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tyre test, which was topped by Valtteri Bottas.

Ocon replaces Nico Hulkenberg alongside Daniel Ricciardo in Renault's driver line-up for next season and got behind the wheel of the team's 2019 car for the first time on Tuesday.

He clocked 77 laps and set the eighth-fastest time, lapping 2.8 seconds off the pace.

Esteban Ocon Renault Abu Dhabi F1 tyre test 2019

That was set by Mercedes' Bottas, who was the busiest driver early on before ending the day with a 138-lap tally - only Max Verstappen (153) and Romain Grosjean (146) completed more.

Each team has 10 sets of tyres to use on each day of the two-day test, with a mix of 2019 compounds and the controversial '20 rubber.

Teams have five different 2019 compounds and six '20 compounds to choose from.

Bottas's benchmark time, a 1m37.124s set on the 2019 C4 compound, was eight tenths of a second faster than the next-best, set by Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari.

Vettel lost an hour of running in the morning with an exhaust issue, but eventually racked up just two fewer laps than Bottas on his way to a 1m37.911s on the 2020 version of the softest C5 compound.

Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat set the third-fastest time, a second behind Bottas, ahead of Sergio Perez's Racing Point and Grosjean's Haas - with all three using the 2020 C5.

Perez and Vettel were also involved in a clash at Turns 11 and 12 at the end of the second straight.

Kvyat shared his Toro Rosso with Sean Gelael, with the Formula 2 driver taking part in the first half of the day.

Gelael ended the day 11th fastest, 4.5s off the pace, and quicker only than surprise Williams tester Roy Nissany.

Roy Nissany Williams Abu Dhabi F1 tyre test 2019

Sometime F2 racer Nissany's 2020 C3-shod fastest time was 7.6s slower than Bottas, 4.4s slower than George Russell after taking over from the regular Williams race driver in the afternoon, and 3.1s slower than the next car (Gelael's Toro Rosso).

Alfa Romeo brought Kimi Raikkonen's day to a premature end because of a "technical issue".

Tuesday times

1Valtteri BottasMercedes1m37.124s-138
2Sebastian VettelFerrari1m37.991s0.867s136
3Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Honda1m38.183s1.059s72
4Sergio PerezRacing Point/Mercedes1m38.434s1.310s120
5Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari1m39.526s2.402s146
6Lando NorrisMcLaren/Renault1m39.741s2.617s125
7Max VerstappenRed Bull/Honda1m39.926s2.802s153
8Esteban OconRenault1m39.962s2.838s77
9George RussellWilliams/Mercedes1m40.368s3.244s87
10Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo/Ferrari1m40.903s3.779s93
11Sean GelaelToro Rosso/Honda1m41.640s4.516s67
12Roy NissanyWilliams/Mercedes1m44.760s7.636s41

 Earlier F1 story More news Next F1 story 
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
View testing times on FORIX
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed