Bottas leads as McLaren-Honda delayed on first day of Abu Dhabi test


Fresh off a podium on Sunday, Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheets in his Williams-Mercedes on the opening day of testing in Abu Dhabi ahead of fellow Finn Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari.

The two-day test is the last on-track running for Formula One in 2014. Here’s the lineup.

While Bottas was the chart-topper, the headliner was the first running for the new McLaren-Honda in an official test session. But electrical problems delayed the debut until the afternoon.

Stoffel Vandoorne was able to get out for installation runs in the McLaren MP4-29X1/H1 Honda, the interim chassis fitted with the Honda V6 power unit before the full integration into the team’s new chassis next season.

The GP2 ace, who finished runner-up to Jolyon Palmer in his rookie season, will stay in the car for Wednesday’s session.

Palmer made his debut with Force India, in perhaps an audition for a reserve role there or elsewhere in 2015. The Englishman completed only 37 laps due to engine and other technical issues, which was fewest on the day, but still ended solidly in fourth at day’s end.

On the flip side, Nico Rosberg (114 laps), Will Stevens (102) and Carlos Sainz (100) crossed the century mark with their days.

Charles Pic slotted in at Lotus after being confirmed at the last minute for the day, while Marcus Ericsson made his debut with Sauber.

One driver with a troubled afternoon was Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, with an apparent suspension issue sending him into the barriers on his third lap of the day. He got back out in the afternoon and completed 55 laps.

More breakouts from day one in Abu Dhabi will follow throughout the day on MotorSportsTalk. Here’s the times:

1. Valtteri Bottas, Williams-Mercedes, 1m 43.396s, 80 Laps
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 43.888s, 81
3. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 44.512s, 114 laps
4. Jolyon Palmer, Force India-Mercedes, 1m 45.516s, 37
5. Carlos Sainz, Red Bull-Renault, 1m 45.339s, 100
6. Will Stevens, Caterham-Renault, 1m 45.436s, 102
7. Charles Pic, Lotus-Renault, 1m 46.167s, 89
8. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber-Ferrari, 1m 46.253s, 95
9. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso-Renault, 1m 47.194s, 55
10. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, no time, 3