Mercedes reserve Wehrlein leads final Abu Dhabi test day to end 2014


Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes’ new reserve driver, will end the year on top of the Formula One charts as the Abu Dhabi postseason test has come to a conclusion on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old German, who finished eighth in the DTM this season, maximized the pace as ever of the all-conquering Mercedes W05 chassis. Most times went down across the board within the last 30 minutes as teams went for runs on Pirelli’s supersoft tire compound.

Wehrlein’s best time today was a 1:42.624, more than seven-tenths quicker than Valtteri Bottas’ best time on Tuesday.

“The important thing was that I was able to improve a lot during the day and complete the full test program,” he said.

Meanwhile in the other story of note entering the test, the McLaren MP4-29X1/H1 Honda had electrical issues once again. Stoffel Vandoorne ran only two installation laps, down from three on Tuesday.

Three other drivers carried over from Tuesday (Marcus Ericsson at Sauber, Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso and Will Stevens at Caterham), while the rest of the cars had new drivers today.

Behind Wehrlein, it was a similarly impressive outing from Ferrari’s Raffaele Marciello to end second, an Italian taking up residence in the F14 T for the first time.

Elsewhere Spike Goddard took over at Force India, Felipe Nasr at Williams for the final time and Alex Lynn at Lotus for the first time. The latter’s chances of racing in 2015 took a step forward today with the news Jean-Eric Vergne will be leaving Toro Rosso next season.

Here’s the times, with other notes and quotes from the day to follow later on MotorSportsTalk.

1. Pascal Wehrlein, Mercedes, 1m 42.624s, 96 Laps
2. Raffaele Marciello, Ferrari, 1m 43.208s, 91
3. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso-Renault, 1m 43.763s, 78
4. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber-Ferrari, 1m 44.551s, 112
5. Will Stevens, Caterham-Renault, 1m 44.888s, 76
6. Spike Goddard, Force India-Mercedes, 1m 44.944s, 89
7. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-Renault, 1m 45.151s, 88
8. Felipe Nasr, Williams-Mercedes, 1m 45.937s, 83
9. Alex Lynn, Lotus-Renault, 1m 46.168s, 52
10. Esteban Ocon, Lotus-Renault, 1m 47.013s, 34
11. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, no time, 2