Nyck de Vries, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2021

De Vries fastest as post-season testing begins in Abu Dhabi

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Formula E world champion Nyck de Vries set the fastest time during the young driver test in Abu Dhabi, driving Mercedes’ 2021 car.

De Vries led Formula 2 driver Liam Lawson, in the 2021 AlphaTauri car, by more than a second. Oscar Piastri, driving for Alpine and Patricio O’Ward, for McLaren, were both within a tenth of Lawson’s time.

Two separate tests took place simultaneously: One for existing Formula 1 drivers to test next year’s 18-inch Pirelli tyres using mule cars and one for young drivers to get an opportunity in the 2021 F1 machines still fitted with this year’s rubber. One team, Williams, opted not to run a mule car – only test and development driver Logan Sargeant going out in a 2021 car to get his young driver mileage opportunity.

Valtteri Bottas, still contracted to Mercedes until 2022, was permitted to run the tyre test for Alfa Romeo. Likewise, George Russell was released by Williams to drive both days of the Pirelli tyre test for Mercedes.

There was one red flag period during the morning running, caused by Daniel Ricciardo stopping out on track in the McLaren mule car. He rejoined the test once it resumed and ended up quickest of the drivers running 18-inch tyres.

Logan Sargeant called a second red flag period during the second half of testing, his car stopping on track. The only significant collision was Juri Vips, who spun into a barrier during his running in the 2021 Red Bull car.

Yuki Tsunoda completed the most laps, covering 146 tours – two-and-a-half race distances – in the AlphaTauri tyre test car.

This article will be updated

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamBest timeGapLaps
121Nyck de VriesMercedes1’23.19477
240Liam LawsonAlphaTauri1’24.5171.323131
336Oscar PiastriAlpine1’24.5231.329125
428Pato O’WardMcLaren1’24.6071.41392
524Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo1’25.1421.948119
625Juri VipsRed Bull1’25.1982.00497
734Nick YellolyAston Martin1’25.3332.139118
83Daniel RicciardoMcLaren1’26.2523.05895
918Lance StrollAston Martin1’26.5793.385143
1039Robert ShwartzmanFerrari1’26.6943.50073
1116Charles LeclercFerrari1’26.9893.79587
1277Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo1’27.1833.989127
1338Antonio FuocoFerrari1’27.3244.130146
1422Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri1’27.3484.154131
1545Logan SargeantWilliams1’27.4764.28292
1631Esteban OconAlpine1’27.5534.359128
1733Max VerstappenRed Bull1’28.0134.819124
1863George RussellMercedes1’28.0624.868132
1947Mick SchumacherHaas1’28.4995.305100

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Browse all 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix articles

Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

20 comments on “De Vries fastest as post-season testing begins in Abu Dhabi”

  1. Last week indycar, now F1: not a dull week for De Vries

  2. He should be in F1.. Sadly Zhou brought 30 million. And Red Bull Thailand bought Albon that Williams seat….

  3. The current F1 drivers are overrated… Look at all those newbies already faster than them 😉😉

  4. Nice dig at Bottas sending De Vries out for 77 laps.

  5. He will be announced as Russell’s partner before Christmas, you heard it here first! :)

  6. Did Verstappen have to pass a breathalyzer test before getting in the car?

    1. If there were such tests in Formula 1, Kimi would retire much earlier.

  7. Mercedes fastest? Strange, usually it’s the slowest car, as the 8 championships in a row prove!

    1. Its a young driver and a Pirelli tyre test. Vips is the young driver and Verstappen is doing the Pirelli test.


      1. Argh…replied to the wrong post sorry.

  8. Verstappen in his Red Bull in a young driver test? Looks strange to me.

    1. He was probably in a mule car. All the young drivers are in the 2021 cars. The normal drivers in mule cars.

    2. There are also 18″ test on a mule car which Max did while Juri did the young drivers test. (But Max is young enough to do those too :) )

  9. honestly surprised at Verstappen being asked to do this so early

  10. Is Michael Masi in charge of everything also during tests?
    If so, then he wasted a chance to order any (All!) drivers get back to their garages and let just Max Verstappen race! As we now know all other drivers are IRRELEVANT for Michael Massi.

    1. @bulgarian, let it go.

      Oer the course of the season it swings both ways. All in all I think Verstappen is a worthy champion for the spectacular season we have just witnessed.

  11. Interestingly the young drivers have the xp on the tyre and the veterans in the car.

    1. To have the young drivers on the old tyres is a waste of an opportunity, good to benchmark them with the dataset but bad to evaluate the tyre since some of the young drivers already race 18 inch tyres.

  12. Good to see Aston Martin do a decent number of laps for data gathering. Have been reluctant to push in this area in the past. And Yuki has less number of laps according to the table. Maybe not fully updated

    1. The profile page of Aston Martin also needs an update.

Comments are closed.