Post-Season Test: Carlos Sainz Claims Final Top Spot as 2022 Officially Ends

The first season of the new aerodynamic regulations has officially drawn to a close, with the post-season young drivers test and Pirelli tyre test having been completed at the Yas Marina Circuit. Despite the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix having only happened on Sunday, attention quickly switched to 2023, as switching drivers were seen driving for their new team for the first-time.

The test, as per usual, saw a large number of drivers complete lap-times, twenty-four competitors in total. It was Scuderia Ferrari who ended the year, though, how they started it, on top. Carlos Sainz Jr led a Ferrari one-two-three, with Charles Leclerc having claimed second and Ferrari reserve driver Robert Shwartzman in third.

All the teams were allowed to use both cars in the post-season test, with one having been used to let a young driver gain mileage, whilst the other was for testing the 2023 compounds. All of the moving drivers were seen behind the wheel in their new colours during the test, with Pierre Gasly having been driving for the BWT Alpine F1 Team, Nyck de Vries for Scuderia AlphaTauri, Nico Hulkenberg for the Haas F1 Team, Oscar Piastri for the McLaren F1 Team, Logan Sargeant for Williams Racing, and Fernando Alonso for the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team.

Due to still being under contract with Alpine, Alonso drove a sponsorless AMR22, which looked absolutely beautiful! Out of the moving drivers it was Gasly who got to grips with his new team the fastest, after ending the day’s test as fourth best; however, the leaderboard is effectively meaningless given that the day is purely about gathering data.

World Champion Max Verstappen sealed the top five with Alex Albon and Sargeant claiming sixth and seventh respectively. De Vries was by far the busiest of the drivers in eighth, having completed an astonishing one-hundred fifty-two laps, whilst having also spun once. A number of drivers found themselves spinning in the test, with a couple red flags having also been needed.

The first was for Piastri, who came to a halt at Turn Seven following a reported technical glitch, rather than damage to his McLaren. Hulkenberg was the only other driver to encounter some form of issue, having lost two hours of running due to a technical issue.

Overall, a strong day of mileage for Ferrari and a great learning experience for all the young drivers, with all eyes now on building the best car possible to hit the track in 2023.

Abu Dhabi Post-Season Test Full Results:

1 Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Scuderia Ferrari 1m25.245s
2 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 1m25.383s
3 Robert Shwartzman RUS Scuderia Ferrari 1m25.400s
4 Pierre Gasly FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m25.689s 
5 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing 1m25.845s
6 Alex Albon THA Williams Racing 1m25.959s
7 Logan Sargeant USA Williams Racing 1m26.063s
8 Nyck de Vries  NED Scuderia AlphaTauri  1m26.111s
9 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team 1m26.263s
10 Liam Lawson NZL Oracle Red Bull Racing 1m26.281s
11 Jack Doohan AUS BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m26.297s
12 Fernando Alonso ESP Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team 1m26.312s
13 Sergio Pérez MEX Oracle Bull Racing 1m26.333s
14 Oscar Piastri AUS McLaren F1 Team 1m26.340s 
15 Felipe Drugovich BRA Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team 1m26.595s
16 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen 1m26.709s 
17 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1m26.750s 
18 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 1m26.890s 
19 Nico Hulkenberg GER Haas F1 Team 1m27.000s
20 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Scuderia AlphaTauri  1m27.123s 
21 Pietro Fittipaldi  BRA Haas F1 Team 1m27.172s 
22 Frederik Vesti  EST Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1m27.216s 
23 George Russell GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1m27.240s 
24 Theo Pourchaire  FRA Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen 1m27.591s