Ocon tops F1 post-season test in Abu Dhabi – Russell crashes

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Alpine’s Esteban Ocon topped Formula 1's post-season test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, with George Russell ending his day early following a heavy impact with the barriers at Yas Marina.

Twenty-five drivers took to the track over the course of the day, with teams assigning one car to Pirelli’s tyre testing programme and another to young driver development.

F1’s class of 2023 was represented by 13 drivers while most teams retained the same young drivers who took part in FP1 last Friday in Abu Dhabi.

The day’s absolute beginners were Red Bull junior Ayuli Iwasa for AlphaTauri and Argentine’s Franco Colapinto for Williams.

The test faced an initial 25-minute delay from its planned 9:00am local start time due to a wait for the medical helicopter.

The first stoppage of the day occurred when a water leak under the bridge of W Hotel located between Turns 13 and 14 delayed the action.

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But George Russell was the most notable casualty of the day when he crashed in Turn 6 four hours into the session, after a suspected technical failure sent the Mercedes driver into the barriers.

The incident, which caused significant damage to the W14's front-right corner, forced Russell to sit out the rest of the day after the Briton had completed 58 laps.

The final red flag of the day was brought out by Iwasa, who ground to a halt in the AlphaTauri with 40 minutes left on the clock.

Carlos Sainz topped the morning running with a 1m24.799s hammered in on the soft tyre, the Ferrari charger edging Red Bull's Sergio Perez and McLaren's Oscar Piastri.

But later in the day, Ocon clocked a time of 1:24.393s to finish nearly three-tenths ahead of 2024 McLaren F1 reserve Pato O'Ward, with Mercedes young driver Fred Vesti securing third place with a late lap.

Perez finished fourth, ahead of Sainz and Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso.

Alpine reserve driver Jack Doohan, Ferrari tester Robert Shwartzman, Williams regular Logan Sargeant, and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who took over from Sainz in the afternoon and completed the top ten.

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