George Russell set the pace for Mercedes on the final day of Formula 1 running in 2019 as the post-season test in Abu Dhabi came to a close.

Williams regular Russell was handed the final official running for the Mercedes W10 car by his parent team in Abu Dhabi, taking over the reins from Valtteri Bottas, who led Tuesday’s running at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Russell set a fastest lap time of 1m37.204s to head Wednesday’s running for Mercedes, beating Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc by almost two-tenths of a second.

Russell racked up almost three race distances – 145 laps – on Wednesday, giving Mercedes plenty of data on the prototype 2020 tyres brought to the test by Pirelli.

Ferrari’s day was cut short after Leclerc crashed his car at Turn 13 with two hours left in the day, leaving the Monegasque on 103 laps for the day.

Lance Stroll took third for Racing Point ahead of Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly, while Carlos Sainz completed the top five for McLaren.

Esteban Ocon continued to bed in with Renault ahead of his racing debut for the team in 2020, completing 128 laps en route to sixth overall ahead of Red Bull’s Alexander Albon.

Haas F1 junior Pietro Fittipaldi finished the day eighth-fastest in his latest run-out in the team’s VF-19 car, while Antonio Giovinazzi took ninth for Alfa Romeo.

Williams split its running once again, with recently-announced 2020 race driver Nicholas Latifi ending the day P10 overall with 107 laps under his belt.

Roy Nissany featured in the morning for the team, ending the day 11th and last in the classification.

 

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