Kimi Raikkonen has ended his 2017 on top of the timesheet for Ferrari on the opening day of the post-season Abu Dhabi Pirelli tyre test which saw the return of Robert Kubica.

The Finnish driver notched up the fastest time of the day approaching the lunch break with a 1m 37.768s – 0.8s off his qualifying time for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the weekend – which remained the benchmark with Raikkonen completing 99 laps at the Yas Marina circuit.

Raikkonen will hand over to Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel for the second and final day of testing in Abu Dhabi to mark his final track action in 2017 before the winter off-season, with a number of F1 teams running a similar programme.

All eyes were on Williams at the start of the test with Kubica making his FW40 debut as his part of his final assessment with the British team ahead of a potential full-time return to F1 in 2018. Kubica is in the running for a Williams race seat for next year to replace the retiring Felipe Massa and appears to have impressed by notching up 100 laps – nearly two race distances – in the morning before handing over to Lance Stroll as planned.

Kubica will return to testing action tomorrow afternoon with Williams trying out Sergey Sirotkin in the morning session in Abu Dhabi.

Daniel Ricciardo marked an end to his 2017 with 109 laps for Red Bull to take second on the timesheet, ahead of F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes who notched up 136 laps in third.

Romain Grosjean completed his year for Haas with 137 laps, the most by an driver on Tuesday, as he got to grips with the new Pirelli tyres which will be used for the 2018 season.

Fernando Alonso’s final day in the McLaren-Honda was briefly stalled by a red flag after he spun into the barriers in the morning session but was able to return to action to produce 115 laps and take sixth on the timesheet.

Fresh from securing sixth place in the F1 World Constructors’ championship for Renault, Nico Hulkenberg signed off his 2017 with 85 laps to stay ahead of Force India’s test driver Nikita Mazepin with 90 laps and eighth spot on the times.

Sean Gelael (Toro Rosso), Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) and Oliver Turvey – running a blind tyre test for McLaren in its rescheduled Pirelli tyre test from Brazil – rounded out the times.


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