Alonso and Piastri make new team debuts as F1 testing begins

Formula 1

Teams stayed on at the Yas Marina Circuit for Tuesday’s test, running from 9am to 6pm to give them a chance to complete some final runs with their 2022 cars.

Deals were struck for drivers to swap teams for the test, including two-time world champion Alonso, who appeared with Aston Martin for the first time ahead of his switch from Alpine in 2023.

Alonso was the first driver out of the pit lane on Tuesday morning, wearing blank overalls, a camo dazzle helmet design and a sponsor-less car livery due to his existing agreements with Alpine.

Alonso said on Sunday night that the test day was “like gold” to give him a chance to get up to speed quicker with Aston Martin, working out elements such as seat position, pedals and steering wheel controls before joining full-time on January 1.

There will be a similar benefit for Piastri, whose contract saga involving McLaren and Alpine dominated the headlines over the summer before F1’s Contract Recognition Board eventually ruled in McLaren’s favour.

The Australian was out early for McLaren, enjoying his first time in an F1 car since he informed Alpine he would not be racing for the team next year and his testing programme was halted.

Another driver joining their new team for the test was Pierre Gasly, who was given permission to link up with Alpine, again wearing blank overalls for the day. His replacement at AlphaTauri, Nyck de Vries, has been loaned to the team by Mercedes for the running.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren

Oscar Piastri, McLaren

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Nico Hulkenberg made his debut with Haas following his confirmation at the team last week, getting the full day of running in the VF-22 to get up to speed ahead of his F1 comeback next year.

The only driver making their F1 session debut today is Frederik Vesti, who is completing Mercedes’ young driver requirement for the running in the W13.

All teams are fielding two cars on Tuesday: one for young drivers who have made no more than two grand prix starts, and one for Pirelli tyre testing that must be driven by those with more experience.


F1 Abu Dhabi post-season test – driver line-up

Red Bull: Sergio Perez (AM), Max Verstappen (PM) and Liam Lawson
Ferrari: Charles Leclerc (AM), Carlos Sainz (PM) and Robert Shwartzman
Mercedes: George Russell (AM), Max Verstappen (PM) and Frederik Vesti
Alpine: Pierre Gasly and Jack Doohan
McLaren: Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri
Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas and Theo Pourchaire
Aston Martin: Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll (end of day) and Felipe Drugovich
Haas: Nico Hulkenberg and Pietro Fittipaldi
AlphaTauri: Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries
Williams: Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant



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