Russell started to lead the Abu Dhabi GP in a session full of youngsters


A week ago, the drivers were making their debut at the new Las Vegas track. And this Friday, on the other side of the world, they began to accelerate at the Yas Marina Circuit, the last Grand Prix of the season (22nd of the year). Not everyone wore their helmets. Instead, only half. 10 of them had to leave their seats to young drivers (who had not competed in more than two GPs) to comply with FIA regulations aimed at ensuring the participation of rookie drivers in official sessions.

Max Verstappen did not drive, replaced by Isack Hadjar, Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez (for Jake Dennis), Lewis Hamilton (Frederik Vesti), Fernando Alonso (Felipe Drugovich), Charles Leclerc (Robert Shwartzman), Esteban Ocon (Jack Doohan). , Lando Norris (Pato O’Ward), Guanyu Zhou (Theo Pourchaire), Nico Hülkenberg (Oliver Bearman) and Alexander Albon (Zak O’Sullivan). So, on a track that is still very dirty and has a lot of room for improvement, the times are still not very representative.

George Russell started leading Free Practice 1 with a 1’26.072, with Felipe Drugovich, Alonso’s replacement, in second position at 0.288. Aston Martin, in fact, started well, with two of its drivers in the Top-5, as Lance Stroll was 5th at 0.559. Ricciardo was third with an AlphaTauri who in these last rounds made a big step forward and Valtteri Bottas with his Alfa Romeo was fourth, 0″381 off the best time. Piastri finished 6th place with a McLaren where much was expected in Abu Dhabi and Sainz, 7th at 0.604, with young Shwartzman at the wheel of Leclerc’s Ferrari in 8th place.

This track should not be as favorable for Ferrari as Las Vegas but it is not one of the worst for the red car either. The Maranello team is playing for 2nd place in the Constructors’ World Championship with Mercedes, just 4 points behind Brackley’s team. That will be the main fight this weekend, in addition to the fight for 4th place between McLaren and Aston Martin (11 points apart) and for 4th place among Drivers, where Alonso and Sainz is tied for 200 points, with Norris on 5 and Leclerc on 12. And before them all, Red Bull is the big favorite.

Right now, it’s too early to draw conclusions about the cars’ performance in that head-chasing fight. We will have to wait for Free Practice 2, with all the official drivers at their wheels, to have a clearer image of the racing speed and power share of each one in a lap under the lights of Abu Dubai.

Source: La Verdad


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