Formula 1’s post-season Abu Dhabi test today features a full house of new faces in new places, with every team set to run their new 2023 drivers.
Every driver that’s switching teams or making their debut in 2023 is due to drive on Tuesday when teams will run two cars – one for drivers who hold a superlicence and one for drivers who have not started more than two grands prix.
Normally only the first car would need to run 2023 development Pirelli tyres but for this test, both cars will have to.
In a neat conclusion to the most volatile part of F1’s silly season this summer, Oscar Piastri will drive for McLaren, Pierre Gasly will drive for Alpine and Fernando Alonso will drive for Aston Martin in the test.
We should also see Nyck de Vries in the AlphaTauri, Logan Sargeant in the Williams and Nico Hulkenberg in the Haas.
NEW 2023 DRIVERS IN THE ABU DHABI TEST
Alpine: Pierre Gasly
McLaren: Oscar Piastri
Aston Martin: Fernando Alonso
Haas: Nico Hulkenberg
AlphaTauri: Nyck de Vries
Williams: Logan Sargeant
Of these drivers, Alonso has talked with most animation about eagerly getting stuck into working with his new team.
“Performance-wise, it will not be important because the car will be very different next year for everyone,” said Alonso.
“But in terms of comfort, seat, steering wheel, the buttons, things that I will love to maybe change and get into my tailor-made everything, it will be nice to have a day in the car.”
Those details will go unnoticed by many but the test will also be interesting to follow even from a distance.
It’s always fun to see F1 drivers turning up in new colours for the first time and thanks to a brilliantly chaotic driver market, there will be lots of drivers doing that on Tuesday.
Plus, the new drivers will be accompanied by some more youngsters getting a rare opportunity in an F1 car, and a few familiar faces from 2022.
Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich tests for Aston Martin while other drivers from the 2022 F2 field will also be in action: Jack Doohan at Alpine, Frederik Vesti at Mercedes and Theo Pourchaire at Alfa Romeo.
ABU DHABI TEST LINE-UP
|Team||‘Young driver’ car||‘Tyre test’ car*|
|Red Bull||Liam Lawson||Sergio Perez/Max Verstappen|
|Ferrari||Robert Shwartzman||Charles Leclerc/Carlos Sainz|
|Mercedes||Frederik Vesti||Lewis Hamilton/George Russell|
|Alpine||Jack Doohan||Pierre Gasly|
|McLaren||Oscar Piastri||Lando Norris|
|Alfa Romeo||Theo Pourchaire||Valtteri Bottas|
|Aston Martin||Felipe Drugovich||Fernando Alonso/Lance Stroll|
|Haas||Pietro Fittipaldi||Nico Hulkenberg|
|AlphaTauri||Nyck de Vries||Yuki Tsunoda|
|Williams||Logan Sargeant||Alex Albon|
*Must be a driver with a superlicence, usually this is the only car running Pirelli’s tyres for the following season