Charles Leclerc closed out the final official Formula 1 running in 2018 at the top of the timesheets for Ferrari as he finished almost 1.5 seconds clear of the field on the second day of testing in Abu Dhabi.

In his first official outing for Ferrari since being named in a 2019 race seat alongside Sebastian Vettel, Leclerc was able to beat his teammate’s benchmark from Tuesday by almost four-tenths of a second, ending the day with a best lap of 1m36.450s.

Driver Ratings - Abu Dhabi GP

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Leclerc completed more than two race distances in the Ferrari SF71H as he continued to assimilate with the Ferrari team ahead of the 2019 season.

Another driver changing team colours for the Abu Dhabi test was Pierre Gasly, who completed his first running for Red Bull since August 2017 ahead of his move into a race seat for next year, replacing Daniel Ricciardo. Gasly finished the day second-fastest, 1.466 seconds down on Leclerc.

Lance Stroll completed a full day of running for Force India – despite still not being confirmed as its second driver for next year – and took third overall, finishing ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who was fourth as the Mercedes W09 car enjoyed its final run in anger.

Carlos Sainz Jr. completed his first running for McLaren in Abu Dhabi, finishing with 150 laps on the board to take fifth place, two seconds back from Leclerc’s benchmark. Formula 2 veteran Artem Markelov continued his F1 development with Renault on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi as he finished the day sixth-fastest. 

Williams split running between George Russell and Robert Kubica once again in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, the latter completing the morning session. Russell rose to thanks to a late lap, while Kubica ended the day 10th overall, 1.4 seconds slower than his 2019 teammate.

Daniil Kvyat made his return to Toro Rosso after more than a year away, finishing eighth overall and with 155 laps, completed more mileage than any other driver. It marked the Russian’s first appearance for the team since his last F1 start at last year’s United States Grand Prix.

Louis Deletraz completed his maiden F1 test with Haas at the Yas Marina Circuit, finishing ninth-fastest ahead of Kubica, while Antonio Giovinazzi propped up the running order for Sauber.

Giovinazzi was responsible for the sole red flag of the day at Yas Marina when his Sauber stopped while exiting the tunnel leading out of the pit lane. His car was quickly recovered, allowing the Italian to rack up more than two race distances in the C37 car.

F1 will next conduct official collective running with teams at the first 2019 pre-season test, taking place on February 18.

 

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