Getty Images

Mercedes’ triple threat: Testing in one place, celebrating in two more

1 Comment

Tuesday has been a busy day for Mercedes AMG Petronas, with a mix of tire testing and celebrating its third straight driver’s World Championship.

Just two days after Nico Rosberg beat him to the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship, Lewis Hamilton returned to the cockpit of the Mercedes as part of Pirelli’s final day of 2017 tire testing at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Problem was, while Hamilton was scheduled to do the whole day, Mercedes reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein wound up taking over later in the day once Hamilton completed the early runs.

The German, who raced for Manor this season and is yet to finalize where he’ll be racing in 2017, was on standby and took over once Hamilton felt unwell, Mercedes confirmed.

Photos from that test are below:

Meanwhile, with Hamilton and Wehrlein on test duties, Rosberg joined more of his team in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, home of Mercedes title sponsor Petronas, for championship celebration there.

Lest Malaysia be the only site of celebrating, you can see it back at Mercedes’ team headquarters too – Brackley and Brixworth.

Hamilton tops second Abu Dhabi F1 practice with new track record

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton swept to the top of the timesheets in second Formula 1 practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday evening, beating Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel by one-tenth of a second.

Hamilton trailed Vettel through the daytime-run opening practice session, but managed to strike back by recording a new track record at the Yas Marina Circuit for Mercedes.

Hamilton recorded a fastest lap time of 1:37.877 to finish one-tenth of a second clear of Vettel at the checkered flag, appearing to have an edge across a single lap on the ultra-soft tire.

Red Bull threw its hat into the ring as a possible rival for pole through Daniel Ricciardo, who finished the session third-fastest, three-tenths of a second back from Hamilton at the head of the field.

Kimi Raikkonen ended FP2 in fourth place in the sister Ferrari, finishing within half a second of Hamilton, and managed to edge out fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas, who was a further two-tenths back in P5.

Max Verstappen failed to get in a quick flying lap during FP2, ending the session one second down in P6 for Red Bull.

Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon’s tight intra-team fight at Force India continued through FP2 as the pair were separated by just 0.01 seconds, taking seventh and eighth respectively to finish as the leading midfield drivers.

Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso completed the top 10 for Renault and McLaren, with Felipe Massa following in 11th for Williams on his final Friday appearance in F1.

Massa was fortunate to avoid an accident with Ricciardo during the final 15 minutes of the session after a mix up at the hairpin when the Brazilian tried to get a wider line for the back straight.

Running in Abu Dhabi continues with final practice at Yas Marina on Saturday morning from 5am ET on the NBC Sports app, followed by qualifying at 8am ET on NBCSN.