Bottas makes Alfa Romeo F1 debut as post-season testing begins

Valtteri Bottas has got behind the wheel of an Alfa Romeo Formula 1 car for the first time as post-season testing began in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. 
Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Alfa Romeo Racing
Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Alfa Romeo Racing

Two days after the 2021 F1 world championship ended in controversial circumstances in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, attention starts to turn towards 2022 with two days of running around the Yas Marina Circuit. 

Pirelli is conducting a two-day evaluation of its new 18-inch wheels that will debut next season, with all the teams bar Williams fielding one mule car. 

In addition to this, a young driver test is taking place on Tuesday. As well as having a mule car in action, the teams are also running a rookie driver in their current 2021 machines on 13-inch tyres. 

Bottas, who will make the switch to Alfa Romeo next season, has been permitted to make his first on-track outing for the Swiss squad despite being contracted to Mercedes until the end of the year. 

He has been joined on track by 2022 teammate and new Alfa Romeo signing Guanyu Zhou, who will make his F1 debut next season as the only graduate from direct feeder series Formula 2. Zhou will takeover 18-inch tyre testing from Bottas on Wednesday. 

Oscar Piastri (AUS), Alpine F1 Team
Oscar Piastri (AUS), Alpine F1 Team

Newly-crowned Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri is having his first outing in a current F1 car with Alpine. Having missed out on an F1 drive for 2022, the Australian is set to carry out a reserve driver role for the Anglo-French outfit next season. 

IndyCar star Pato O’Ward is getting his first taste of F1 for McLaren, while American driver Logan Sargeant is also debuting for Williams before he graduates from Formula 3 to F2 next year. 

Red Bull junior Liam Lawson is making his F1 test debut in Abu Dhabi for AlphaTauri and fellow Red Bull junior Juri Vips is driving for the senior team. 

Two days after beating Lewis Hamilton to his maiden F1 world title, Max Verstappen is back behind the wheel of his Red Bull before Sergio Perez rounds out the 18-inch tyre programme on Wednesday. 

Seven-time world champion Hamilton is absent from the test, with George Russell driving both days for Mercedes ahead of his promotion to the works team as Hamilton’s new teammate for 2022. 

This was always planned, according to Mercedes, with Hamilton scheduled to be at Windsor Castle on Wednesday to receive his knighthood. 

Patricio O'Ward (MEX, McLaren F1 Team
Patricio O'Ward (MEX, McLaren F1 Team

F1 post-season test - day 1 line-up: 

Mercedes: George Russell and Nyck de Vries
Red Bull: Max Verstappen and Juri Vips
Ferrari: Charles Leclerc (AM), Antonio Fuoco, Robert Shwartzman (PM)
McLaren: Daniel Ricciardo and Pato O’Ward 
Alpine: Esteban Ocon and Oscar Piastri
AlphaTauri: Yuki Tsunoda and Liam Lawson
Aston Martin: Lance Stroll and Nick Yelloly
Williams: Logan Sargeant
Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou
Haas: Mick Schumacher

F1 post-season test - expected day 2 line-up: 

Mercedes: George Russell
Red Bull: Sergio Perez
Ferrari: Carlos Sainz
McLaren: Lando Norris
Alpine: Fernando Alonso
AlphaTauri: Pierre Gasly
Aston Martin: Sebastian Vettel
Williams: Not taking part
Alfa Romeo: Guanyu Zhou
Haas: Pietro Fittipaldi

Read More