Hamilton absent, Bottas to debut for Alfa Romeo in F1 tyre test

Lewis Hamilton will be one of four drivers on the 2022 Formula 1 grid who will be absent from this week’s post-season Pirelli tyre test. 
Pirelli show tyres.
Pirelli show tyres.
© xpbimages.com

F1 tyre supplier Pirelli is holding a two-day test at the Yas Marina Circuit for drivers to sample its new 18-inch wheels that will be used during the 2022 season. 

Drivers will get behind the wheel of mule cars that have been specially modified for the Italian manufacturer’s 18-inch tyres that will debut next year. 

Mercedes will run new signing George Russell on both days of the test, with Hamilton set to receive his knighthood at Windsor Castle on Wednesday.

It was never planned for Hamilton, who was denied a record-breaking eight world title by Max Verstappen in a controversial ending to Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, to take part in the two-day test for Mercedes. 

Newly-crowned F1 champion Verstappen will return to his Red Bull on Tuesday, with Sergio Perez rounding out the final day of running on Wednesday.

After leaving Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas will make his debut for Alfa Romeo on Tuesday, before handing over to Formula 2 graduate Guanyu Zhou on Wednesday. 

Nikita Mazepin will be out of action as he continues to self-isolate following a positive COVID-19 test that ruled him out of the season finale. Mick Schumacher and Pietro Fittipaldi will instead split running for Haas. 

Charles Leclerc and Antonio Fuoco will share driving duties for Ferrari on Tuesday, with Carlos Sainz getting a full day on Wednesday. 

Williams is the only team not running a mule car for the test, meaning Nicholas Latifi and new signing Alex Albon will not be taking part.

A young driver test will be held in parallel to the Pirelli programme on Tuesday, with all 10 teams fielding a rookie in one of their 2021-spec cars. 

Full Pirelli 18-inch tyre test line-up: 

Mercedes: George Russell (both days)
Red Bull: Max Verstappen (Tuesday), Sergio Perez (Wednesday) 
McLaren: Daniel Ricciardo (Tuesday), Lando Norris (Wednesday) 
Aston Martin: Lance Stroll (Tuesday), Sebastian Vettel (Wednesday) 
Alpine: Esteban Ocon (Tuesday), Fernando Alonso (Wednesday) 
AlphaTauri: Yuki Tsunoda (Tuesday), Pierre Gasly (Wednesday) 
Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas (Tuesday), Guanyu Zhou (Wednesday) 
Haas: Mick Schumacher (Tuesday), Pietro Fittipaldi (Wednesday) 

Full young driver test line-up:

Mercedes: Nyck de Vries
Red Bull: Juri Vips
McLaren: Pato O’Ward
Aston Martin: Nick Yelloly
Alpine: Oscar Piastri
Ferrari: Antonio Fuoco (AM), Robert Shwartzman (PM)
AlphaTauri: Liam Lawson
Alfa Romeo: Guanyu Zhou
Haas: Robert Shwartzman (Wednesday)
Williams: Logan Sargeant 

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